The Morning Report 7.27.2015 | TRADES, TRADES, TRADES!!!!


Evaluating The Trade | Chris Soto- After getting a ton of flack about not making any moves during the Mets horrendous offensive stretch, Sandy Alderson proofed, once again, that patience wins out at the end of the day. The Mets traded RHP Robert Whalen and RHP Jon Gant to the Atlanta Braves for UT Kelly Johnson, 3B Juan Uribe, and $500k of salary coverage. From the prospects standpoint, neither Whalen, nor Gant, had a future with the Mets with the way the team is currently constructed. No SP spots are going to open up on this team until at least after the 2018 season. Quite frankly, I'm not sure how either of them can fit into the Braves future rotation plans. In exchange for them, the Mets pick up a strong bat off the bench in Johnson who has the ability to play multiple positions. Basically they acquired Ben Zobrist without the Ben Zobrist price tag. They also picked up a starting caliber 3B in Juan Uribe. Folks, this is the same Juan Uribe who at age 35 hit .311 AVG with a .777 OPS last season for the LA Dodgers. He may not bring much in terms of power, but the old guy can still hit. This is another solid SOLID trade for the Alderson regime and from the sounds of it....they aren't done yet.

Ernie Palladino | CBS New York- Terry Collins was never a buffoon of a manager. He just lacked options. Sandy Alderson gave him some with the trade for Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson.
Now, for really the first time this year, the front office can get a clear picture of whether Collins is the guy to lead the Mets beyond 2015. That’s a future issue, of course. The immediate business involves staying on the NL East-leading Nationals’ tail, a position that seems nothing short of miraculous considering the horrendous way the Mets started the second half of the schedule. Regardless of their offensive explosion Saturday and an extra-innings win Sunday, it remains quite amazing that they have hung off Washington’s shoulder during a 4-6 stagger out of the All-Star break.

(Chris Soto: Well, I wouldn't say he's a buffoon....but TC is still not that great of a manager. Irregardless though, the Mets struggles over the past month certainly weren't his fault. Palladino is right, he had nothing to work with. While Uribe and Johnson certainly aren't guys who can push this team into a playoff race, it's a step in the right direction and it's a step that is already paying dividends.

Bob Klapisch | Newsday- Clearly, the Mets are in a run-scoring crisis. It’s a certainty Michael Cuddyer will be placed on the disabled list as early as today. Michael Conforto, the franchise’s best hitting prospect, will be summoned from Class AA. It’s the logical move and it’ll placate the ticket buyers who are teetering toward open rebellion. But the timing of Conforto’s promotion speaks to upper management’s clumsiness and lack of vision. Conforto is being sent to war against Kershaw? Against Greinke? In his major league debut? Collins can’t possibly sacrifice a rookie like that. No kid, regardless of his genetic blessings, is ready for such a buzz saw. The smarter move would’ve been to put Cuddyer on the DL on Monday and let Conforto debut against the Nationals’ Joe Ross, himself a rookie, and Jordan

(Chris Soto: Wow...I did not think about this at all. When you look at the timing of Conforto's currently unreported promotion, this is a suicide job by them. Sandy Alderson is quickly losing the support of the "sensible" fan base due to his lack of inactivity amidst the team's overall poor play. With such a dominate pitching staff, there is clearly a window of opportunity for the Mets to break through and become successful. Even a league average offense, could result in almost 7 additional wins than what the Mets have gotten so far this season.) 

Kevin Alonzo | Bleacher Report- Far too often this season, dazzling performances from New York Mets starting pitchers have gone to waste due to the team's incompetence with a bat in their hands. Aware of the team's deficiencies offensively, general manager Sandy Alderson has initiated his attempt to overhaul the lineup. On Friday, he called up 2014 first-round pick Michael Conforto from Double-A. Later that day, Alderson acquired Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson from the Atlanta Braves for two lower-level minor league pitchers, John Gant and Rob Whalen. This is a low-cost move that immediately makes the Mets better. Nobody is suggesting these three players alone will carry New York's offense—the Mets scored just three runs again on Sunday—but there's no doubt the team is improved from last Thursday.

(Chris Soto: Exactly...don't look at these moves as the one that will get the Mets to the playoffs ....cause that's just not the case. This trade was foundation supporter, something that Alderson can build on but still improve the team incrementally by upgrading the Bench. This kind of move bumps the offense from 29th overall to maybe 24th overall, now Alderson needs to find the piece that pushes it up to 15th or better within the next 5 days.)

Joe D.  | Metsmerized Online- Beat reporter Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, continues to hear that the Mets continue to look at Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce and that they are scouting him heavily. Having already shipped off Johnny Cueto to the Kansas City Royals, the Reds have made it known that they are looking to unload their big salaried players as they look to save as much money as they can. In addition to Jay Bruce, the Mets have been linked to Troy Tulowitzki, Yoenis Cespedes, Gerardo Parra, Ben Zobrist, Tyler Clippard, and Justin Upton.

(Chris Soto: Now that Johnson and Uribe have been acquired, you can probably cross Zobrist and Parra off the list. The club is probably now interested in acquiring "the big one," someone who can seriously improve the team's offense to the point where once Wright and d'Arnaud come back...it suddenly becomes a much more feared group. Reports indicated that Justin Upton talks were quite heavy over the weekend but the two teams couldn't agree on a deal, I would think that the clubs will revisit soon. In addition it was reported that the Mets have been seeking out Tulowitzki, but the Rockies don't seem too inclined to move him. Again we may see the two clubs revisit this during the week.)


Thomas Brennan said...

Upton, as one of our commenters noted yesterday, is hitting about .180 in 150 at bats in June and July. If we get him, someone better be convinced he'll snap out of it with a change of scenery.

I was discussing Mets stuff with my cousin Bill yesterday, who had watched every Mets inning this season. I missed the end of the Saturday nite game when Jeurys Familia was called on to protect a 13 run lead. With an undoubtedly tight game coming up 14 hours later between two greats, deGrom and deGreinke.

So it was no surprise that JF got the 4 out save call...and no surprise he blew it. So for those who say Collins is not a bad manager, WHAT THE HECK WAS HE BRINGING FAMILIA INTO SATURDAY'S GAME FOR?

J-REESE is perhaps the most important player on the squad...lose him, lose the pennant. If they get into the playoffs, they will need him as fresh as possible. So, Cousin Bill and I 100% agreed: Collins gets 4 Dunce Caps for bringing ANY of his top pen guys into Saturday no he's game, most notably Familia. C'mon!! JeUrys is important to preserv not just for the 2015 playoffs, but for 2016, 2017, 2018...minimize his usage!

Dallas said...

Tom, I'm pretty sure we could find fault with any manager. I think TC is much better than Manuel and Randolph. No one is making all the right decisions all the time. There is no manager everyone will be happy about, but some are much worse than others. I think criticizing for Nats game is fair but for using him Saturday is a stretch. He hadnt pitched in a while and they have an off day today, seems reasonable.

Charles said...

Anything is possible with this team due to their insanely strong starting pitching. They don't need a major bat. They just needed a couple of Daniel Murphy type hitters and that's what they got. Add in a healthy Travis DarNo and maybe even sprinkle in a David Wright for September, and this team is in the hunt until the end of September.

I like it.

Ernest Dove said...

Im wondering what Mets fans reactions would be if Mets do actually go ahead and acquire a BIG outfield bat, and thus lead them to demote Conforto.

Also wondering if anyone out there has some detailed insight in Nimmo defensive skills as a CF? Range, arm, accuracy, etc. I've kinda noticed all year how Mets simply entrenched him there after first few professional seasons I believe in corner outfield spots.

Christopher Soto said...


Nimmo is capable of being a league average CF. All of his defensive tools are 50 or 55 grade. He won't hurt you but his not gonna add +26 DRS like Lagares does. I say he has a ceiling of +5 to +10 max.

The reason he's been playing out in CF is because his offensive profile doesn't fit in a Corner OF spot. He doesn't bring enough in terms of power to be a valuable corner OF.

That's why I think we will see Nimmo traded soon since the Mets already have Lagares (CF) locked up through 2019, Conforto (LF) is cost controlled through 2020, and Granderson (RF) is under contract through 2017.

I just don't see a spot for him.

Anonymous said...

Soto says: "After getting a ton of flack about not making any moves during the Mets horrendous offensive stretch, Sandy Alderson proofed, once again, that patience wins out at the end of the day. "

Well, that's the rabid Sandy fan take on things I guess. Fawning at a time when more balanced analysis is in order. To call what we've all just witnessed this season an "offensive stretch" is really bending the reality. If it wins out at the end of the day, well, we will see. Today is not the day to make that announcement, which reminds me of Bush's "mission accomplished."

In fact, Uribe was traded about two months ago to the Braves -- and reports suggested at the time that Gee would have gotten it done. Many of us wondered why the Mets sat on their hands when he changed uniforms back then.

Clearly we've just seen that bringing up Conforto -- finally, and overdue -- was a helpful move. Trading for two minor pieces, and dumping the likes of Muno & Mayberry -- will surely help this club. Hopefully it's not too late to make an impact.

I'm glad that Sandy got around to doing the obvious things that needed to be done. I'm hopeful he can pull off another move or two. But the lesson here was not, for me, that patience always wins out. The lesson is that the team got better when the GM finally made a move.

I don't see how Jay Bruce helps the team if it puts Granderson in CF or moves Conforto down to AAA. Same with Upton; I don't get the fascination. Obviously, prices matters here and we'll see how that unfolds. The club needs someone who can play CF. I like Gomez. I like Tulo (at SS, obviously), and would include Wheeler in either of those deals. For a lower price, I like Parra.

And yes, a bullpen arm would be a big help. Chapman!

In the end, this team needs its starting pitching to hold together and lead the club into the playoffs. It's all about the arms. I don't trade Zack Wheeler lightly, especially now with his stock so relatively low. Not for a rental.

James Preller

IBfromWhitePlains said...

I rant a lot about bench, bench, bench. I gotta say, this Atlanta trade is a very nice boost and will help this team win some ballgames they'd otherwise lose. Credit to Alderson, curious about Atlanta's motives

I bet against Alderson doing anything and I lost. And it's great.

Michael S. said...

Oh I do. That Granderson $$$ is going to be cleared one way or another if the Mets are adding two bats to their lineup - Having Nimmo cheaply makes that easier for our owners. Lagares can't really hit and who knows what damage his injury is doing.


Thomas Brennan said...

Michael S, I no longer assume Nimmo is an automatic to be a major league starter. His OBP is well under .400, He should be better by now.

I'd rather see Conforto in OF than acquiring the ice cold Upton for big time prospects. I like James Preller's trade targets.

Reese Kaplan said...

Tom, you only scratched the surface on TC this week alone.

First, there was the 7/8/9 obsession of Mejia, Parnell and Familia. Sometimes you have to go off-script. In the case the other night when Mejia breezed through the order without breaking a sweat, the right move would have been to let him start the 8th as well and thus preserve Parnell's still-recovering arm. However, once Terry gets an idea it take a papal directive to change it and in comes Parnell who VERY CLEARLY DIDN'T HAVE IT yet he did nothing. That's problem number one.

Then came the very rare laugher in which there was a 15-2 lead. What better time to let Parnell get back on the horse after the beating he took his last time out. Instead, for the 9th inning he brings in his CLOSER who has already pitched a lot of innings this year. If he wants to burn out someone in the late innings, it should be Mejia who won't be there for the post-season anyway. That's problem number two.

Then Familia comes into a game to protect a lead after unnecessarily having pitched in a blowout and voila, he implodes. That's Collins strike number three in a what, 3 day span?

Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe, Justin Upton, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth won't make Collins into a good manager. Is it any wonder he's never won a pennant?

Reese Kaplan said...

Oh, on the acquisitions made, go back and read what I prognosticated on Saturday in a column written before the Atlanta trade...he'd add a couple of bench pieces but nothing substantial. I stand by that. We'll get the spin of "with d'Arnaud coming back now, Conforto here and Wright next month it's like adding three hitters."

Reese Kaplan said...

@James Preller -- This maybe the line of the year:

"Today is not the day to make that announcement, which reminds me of Bush's "mission accomplished.""

Exactly! Yet it's all I expect to happen.

On the subject of a reliever, that's an interesting thought and should open up Mejia as a trading chip since he's not playoff-eligible and the incoming arm would be.

Michael S. said...

We'll have to agree to disagree. I think that injury damaged his progress this year.

Michael S. said...

A morning report has the Mets able to acquire a big bat if they'll include Wheeler, Lagares, and/or Niese. If the bat is Tulowitzki and the price is Wheeler and Lagares I do it without hesitating.

Thomas Brennan said...

REESE, glad to see your thoughts on relievers. Mine exactly.

Think back to the year Billy Wagner fell apart and cost them the pennant. Preserve this critical pen asset. I' d never have criticized Collins if Familia had been little used, came in "rusty" and Familia pitched exactly the same way yesterday. Better rusty than worn out. A critical guy like Familia HAS to be as fresh as possible so if they get to October, he is still fresh and healthy.

Reese Kaplan said...

If the Mets could land Tulowitski for Wheeler and Lagares then Alderson would be GM of the Year.

Christopher Soto said...

@Michael S.

If the price for Tulowitzki + full salary is Wheeler, Lagares, and non essential Minor Leaguers.....I make that trade in a HeartBeat.

It opens the CF door for Nimmo in 2016...in the meantime we could trade Montero for Parra to fill the hole for the rest of 2015 and be a better club overall.

However....it seems like the Rockies are sooo extremely hesitant about trading Tulowitzki....or any pieces for that matter.

Instead of Tulo....maybe we should be focusing on his heir apparent SS Trevor Story.

In 88 games between AA and AAA this season he is posting the below line...

.286 AVG .922 OPS, 16 HRs, 56 RBIs, 15 SB, 32!! doubles, 6 triples.

Kid is crushing....

Send Michael Fulmer and Matt Reynolds to Colorado for him and slot him into the MLB SS position OR leave him in AAA for 2015.

In 2016 Murphy leaves....slide Flores back to 2B and use Story at SS for the next 6 years.

TP said...

Terry said that Familia's issues post all start break are from lack of use. He has only pitched 3 times in 12 days. That is why Collins got him some work Sat. night, and he threw under 10 pitches in the game. I am not a Collins lover, and he clearly blew it with Familia Wed. in DC, but Saturday's usage had its reasons, and likely was requested by Familia. On Sunday, his command was the problem, which is usually a symptom of mechanics and lack of use. I agree that Sat. night would have been a good time to get Parnell back in there.

I am not big on Bruce. They need to do better. I would prioritize a quality bullpen arm over another bat, although they need both. I would also hope Alderson makes even attempt to pick up guys controllable beyond 2015. My targets would be Kimbrel, Chapman, Carlos Gomez, and Tulo. Yes, pipe dreams, but worth giving up a group of prospects outside of the big 4 + Conforto and Plawecki.

Michael S. said...

Your logic for Tulo is the same as mine. Grandy can play CF until Nimmo next year.

Reports have been that the Rox are hesitant to deal. But, the rumors are all over the map. Maybe he's available..the recent ask is Wheeler and Conforto...he's not available...etc. His name is out there so much I can't believe he's completely off the table.

I think Colorado would be even less likely to deal Story.


Michael S. said...

I'm fine with Bruce as a salary dump (maybe in the offseason) IF we could get Tulowitzki now. That would give us the chance to move some pieces and money around. Tulowitzki puts us right in the thick for this year and then adding Bruce behind him could make us the team to beat in 2016.

Mack Ade said...

Hey all -

I wanted to point out one fact to mull on.

There are 63 more Mets games left this season and only 15 of them will be played against teams currently with a .500+ W-L percentage.

The tough part of the schedule is over.

Mack Ade said...

One question to all of you -

Would Jay Bruce be a good deal for the Mets and, if so, what would it take to get him

LukasKubicek said...

Scheduling notes:

Giants from 8/6: CHC, HOU, WAS, STL, PIT, CHC, STL, LAD.

They have 7 games against the Cubs. Hopefully those get split right down the middle and they each win 3.5.

Christopher Soto said...

In my opinion...while not a perfect player by any means...Jay Bruce would be a welcome addition to the team.

However, with Conforto now in the big leagues giving us an OF of Conforto, Lagares, Grandy v R/Cuddyer v L.

I feel like the added value Bruce would bring....is not significant enough over the Cuddy/Grandy combo or Conforto to warrant giving up the pieces we would need to part with in order to get him.

Mack Ade said...

BTW - Cesar Puello was inserted in the last GCL Mets game, which eventually was suspended (not because of Puello though)

Ernest Dove said...

So apparently even mother nature refuses to allow Puello to wear a Mets uniform again.

Mack Ade said...

Michael Scannell emailed me re: Bruce

That's the $12-14M question. If Cincy is moving him for salary relief we should be able to get him for less in terms of prospects.

If I'm GM? Make the big move for Tulo, add Bruce, trade Duda, move d'Arnaud to 1B, and get Grandy to another team and off the books. Your core 13 next year:

2B Cecchini (0.5)
LF Conforto (0.5)
1B d'Arnaud (0.5)
SS Tulowitzki (20)
RF Bruce (14)
3B ????
CF Nimmo (0.5)
Ca Plawecki (0.5)

SP1 Harvey (0.5)
SP2 deGrom (0.5)
SP3 Matz (0.5)
SP4 Syndergaard (0.5)
SP5 Niese (10)

That group has a price tag under $50M, something even the Wilpon's could love. There'd still be room for Wright if healthy and doesn't take into account any potential salary retention by Cincy or Colorado. There's also room to eat some of Grandy's contract to trade him.

That team, in my opinion, while not overwhelming would still be the one to beat. We'd have dangerous run production and shut down pitching.

I'd move whatever pieces to make that the group...preferably also holding onto Rosario if could be done.

Thomas Brennan said...

Puello then gets a huge pay decrease. Welcome back, hope you saved some of that big paycheck.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, going radical on the roster reshape. Like it! This could turn out to be a very interesting week.

Stephen Guilbert said...

I'm not giving up on Duda yet and I don't think the Mets should either.

James Preller said...

A few scattered comments:

* I don't believe that Granderson can play CF. The legs, the arm, the age. Not an option.

* I don't believe that Nimmo is a CF either, but that's for another day.

* I don't love a radical makeover at this point. Too much turnover can become a negative. Duda should benefit from better pieces around him. Moving him off cleanup was already a blessing.

* No problem at all with Familia throwing Saturday night.

* All future trades depend on the Wilpons at this point. My personal belief is that Sandy has the ability to walk into their offices to say, "Now is the time, this is the move." I don't think they are totally broke. Also, the best thing that can happen with the Wilpons as been the media sh*t storm. They have always responded well to public humiliation.

* I can see how Gomez makes the Mets better. I don't really see that with Upton or Bruce.

* Clippard would make a nice addition. Again, it comes down to money. The Mets have the trade chips.

James Preller

Mack Ade said...

James -

Regarding the Clippard rumor, this could be a very bad week for Swth Lugo being named POW.

Michael S. said...

I don't think they should necessarily give up on Duda. But, if Bruce comes in it almost makes him redundant and I really want to move d'Arnaud from catcher. Between Duda and TDA I keep TDA's potential and RH bat.

Michael S. said...

Thanks for posting :)

James Preller said...

Michael, I've watched the Mets try to move Hundley to the OF and Piazza to 1B and, amazingly, neither guy could do it. So I'm not ready to assume it's a simple (or successful) transition.

In addition, much of an offensive catcher's value comes from the fact that he's doing it at a defensive position. If the Mets turn d'Arnaud into a short, defensively-challenged 1B, it's possible they cut his value in half -- and he still might get hurt. He could easily just become a middle-of the-pack player at his new position, rather than a clear asset.

I'd go slow with this, follow the Buster Posey model, who sometimes gets time at 1B.

Could work, but . . .

Michael S. said...

Couple of points. I had some of the same thoughts/concerns but there I reasons I believe d'Arnaud could do it where the others have failed -

- He's not short. He's 6'2" 210, that size is fine for 1B, especially when our best 1B prospect and noted defensive whiz is only 6'0".

- Travis has a .280-.300, 20-25 HR, 70-90 RBI potential bat. That's elite for catcher and very good for 1B, especially in the supposed post-steroid era. Since elite at catcher is irrelevant, I'll take very good at 1B from him and play "our Varitek" (my opinion) in Plawecki at catcher.

- d'Arnaud is more athletic and less bully than Hundley and Piazza. Hundley was a juiced up beast who could barely move and we all know about Piazza's lack of mobility. Travis's brother chase is/was a middle infielder and I believe Travis has the genes/makeup to move to 1B at least. He might not be Biggio but I think he's much more Biggio than he is Piazza.

Michael S. said...

* "bulky" not "bully"

Mack Ade said...

deal is done...

Clippard for Casey Meisner

bob gregory said...

Keep It Simple.
D'Arnaud's a catcher. Keep him as a catcher. If you don't trust him as the catcher trade him as a catcher where his value will be highest.
Get a first baseman to be the first baseman.

Michael S. said...

Easier said than done. We already have a solid RH hitter here, I'd rather get what we can out of him than just cut bait.

Michael S. said...

Ouch...I hope we can keep Clippard.

Steve from Norfolk said...

Everybody is so quick to replace Duda. Hasn't anybody ever heard of the sophomore jinx? He may not be a sophomore as a ML player, but he is as our full-time 1B.

bob gregory said...

I would like to see how Duda would perform with a real #3 & #4 hitter in the lineup ahead of him.

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