The Morning Report 11.12.2015 | Cespedes' Strike Zone Problem, Boras Flip Flops on Harvey and Pisses Off Marlins, Mets in the Market for RP


Brian Mangan The Read Zone- If you were watching the Mets play in the postseason and you thought Yoenis Cespedes was swinging at everything: you were right. And it might cost him tens of millions of dollars in free agency. Many observers want to lay blame for this poor performance on his shoulder, but there another obvious culprit as well. Pitchers simply stopped throwing Cespedes strikes — and he couldn’t lay off. Whether it was the pressure of the playoffs or a general problem with discipline, Cespedes’s control of the strike zone was nonexistent for a month.

(Chris Soto: Highly recommended read here folks. I am a huge fan of Mangan's work and this article is a wonderful display of why, me personally, I am willing to let Cespedes walk away from the Mets via free agency. The amount of money that would be required in order to sign Yeonis would be better served elsewhere.)

Kristie Ackert | NY Daily News- Uber agent Scott Boras is now happy with the way things worked out. “I think there was a misunderstanding,” said Boras, who made his annual appearance at the GM Meetings on Wednesday. “Matt never, ever said anything about not throwing in the playoffs. He was always going to throw in the playoffs and our plan included him throwing in the playoffs. “We were all baseball players, we know you pitch in the playoffs,” Boras continued. “The Mets came to us and Dr. (James) Andrews with a plan to pitch in the playoffs, it was executed and turned out well.“

(Chris Soto: HAHAHA.....this guy is just something else. Eventually, both players and General Managers are going to get to so frustrated with him that it becomes detrimental to his clients. We already saw it during the off-season last year when multiple Boras clients ended up still being unsigned going into January and even February. Generally, when a player waits that long, the market dries up and the amount of money available is greatly reduced. We're even beginning to hear rumblings of a potential divorce between Boras and SP Matt Harvey, though both were quick to squash those rumors.)

Associated Press New York Times- The Miami Marlins' feud with agent Scott Boras escalated Wednesday, and the team said he'll be left out of any future talks regarding ace Jose Fernandez's workload. "My strong suggestion to Mr. Boras is that instead of resting on his 5 percent that he collects from his stable of players, he write a check and buy a team," Samson said. "Then he would have the opportunity to run a team that he claims to be so able to do. Until that time, he is in no position to comment how any Major League Baseball team is operated."

(Chris Soto: See.....what I say :)....After the whole Matt Harvey fiasco occur within their own division and having their own problems with Mr. Boras in regards to another client of his, Marcell Ozuna, the Marlins are not going to let Boras bully them around in regards to Jose Fernandez's 2016 workload.)

HOT STOVE REPORT (courtesy of mlbtraderumor.com)
  • According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Mets are showing interest in RHRP Joakim Soria. In 67.2 innings this past season split between the Tigers and Pirates, Soria posted a 2.53 ERA and 1.09 WHIP while striking out 64 batters.
  • According Joel Sherman of the NY Post, the Atlanta Braves are heavily shopping star SS Andrelton Simmons and are in contact with 3 separate West Coast teams. 
  • Korean RHCL Seung-hwan Oh is scheduled to travel and spend 10 days in the USA speaking with teams about a possible jump to the MLB. "The Final Boss", as he is called in Korea, compiled a 1.69 ERA in 9 seasons in the KBO followed by a 2.25 ERA in 2 seasons with the Japanese Nippon League.

(Chris Soto: As much as I would love for the Mets to go after Andrelton Simmons, I cannot see the Braves trading him within the division unless they got a high upside, high control SP like Steven Matz or Noah Syndergaard in return. To that I say, "No Thanks." I must admit though.....I am highly interested in Seung-hwan Oh. In the offense heavy Korean League, the guy amassed 277 saves! That could be very valuable behind Juerys Familia. There is a bit of concern though with Oh, he's had Tommy John surgery twice in his life with the most recent operation occurring in 2010. He is not subject to international posting rules though, so he is treated just like any other Free Agent.)


Mack Ade said...

I don't understand Atlanta's continuing to dump decent players for, what I assume will be, future prospects. At this rate, at looks like they will be a non-factor through 2020.

Anonymous said...


I've come out on the other side about Boras. What he says about Osuna, and the Marlins' motivations for sending him down, ring true to me. They did it to save a year of arbitration. And as his agent, he's right to say so. In regard to Fernandez, hell yes, he should try to protect the health of that young man. And when it comes to Harvey, look, Boras got what he wanted. He doesn't mind being the bad guy, doesn't bother him at all. Some of that was mishandled, but the end result, for all concerned, was a win. There's a dance that goes on in these things, and Boras knows his steps very well. He's the most successful agent in the game.

But I'm curious to hear your opinion on another. I'm not advocating anything right now, just thinking out loud. The Mets obviously have great starting pitching. On the downside, Alderson/DePodesta have done a mediocre to lousy job with the draft during their regime. There's no more top-shelf pitching talent in the system, unless you want to count Molina, who just had TJ surgery. They have a bunch of SS, but not one, so far, counts as a stud -- and no team needs 6 SS. The cupboard isn't that impressive, as far as I'm concerned. Maybe Smith can play 1B -- I'm actually hopeful. Rosario at SS, also hopeful.

When you look at baseball today, there are pitchers everywhere. The list of free agent pitchers available is staggering; I've never seen so many good pitcher on the market, and for a song. Somebody is going to sign Dillon Gee for a $1 million, for example. It's never been easier to grab a #5 guy.

So all of that context makes me at least ask the question: Maybe this is the best time to trade a Steven Matz? Or maybe it's better to wait until the trade deadline. The reality is that the Mets don't have money to spend -- grrrrrr -- and there's not much in the minors that any other team would particularly want.

I realize that it's not going to happen. That the club is going to stand pat here, and come into next season a somewhat diminished organization -- with an incredible pitching staff. I am a little worried about the 13 position players this team will open the season with, frankly. You hate to trade one of those guys because SA, in all his time, has not brought any good pitching into the system. He's benefited from the pitching talent he inherited. So logic, on one hand, says you don't trade one of these guys now. But at the same time, if you can simply buy a #5 guy on the cheap -- and you can, easily -- then maybe there's an OPPORTUNITY in the marketplace right now.

James Preller

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, Atlanta being a non-factor for that long has to make Met owners happy, as the better the Mets' win loss record (helped if they beat up on a lowly Braves team) the more fans will buy tickets at Citi. my guess is Atlanta looks at the Mets' pitchers and realizes it
cannot compete any time soon.

Cespedes - I do a lot of what/if's, and most never happen. I suggested on Tuesday that Cespedes and Duda both be a lot more aggressive on first pitch strikes. In the playoffs, Cespedes allowed a fat strike one way too often and then got worked on later "fishing" pitches.

He does have a big, obvious problem swinging outside the zone. All the more reason to not watch meatballs sail by for strike 1 on the first pitch. so what if he changed that - whoops, unlikely he will.

Unless management were convinced he could change that "watch the first meatball pitch for a strike" approach, he likely is better off going elsewhere.

Thomas Brennan said...

James - you make a lot of sense, but personally, I want to see this rotation kept intact for at least 1 year, to admire and enjoy it.

Boras is doing a 180 with Mets because - they may just be valued customers this offseason. Has to lower the hostilities.

Ernest Dove said...

The Braves have to be one of the strangest teams in MLB right now.
I believe that have the new ballpark thing in a couple years, but they've traded a YOUNG star in heyward.......and replaced him with an OLDER markakis on a multi year deal.
They traded a YOUNG stud closer. They might now trade arguably the best defensive ss in baseball. What am I missing here?
Why not just trade Freeman at this point?

bob gregory said...

I'll say it again.

Cespedes makes the most efficient baseball sense in terms of cost of players & money.
As long as he fills a productive and beneficial role in the family structure of the team pursuing him should be without question.

Anonymous said...

I do think Wheeler is a great fit for the Braves, and their timetable. However, he is so undervalued right now that I'd hate to trade him at this time. A year from now, the Mets can definitely flip the switch.

I am underwhelmed by everything I hear from club sources at this point. I don't believe that the playoffs are a shoe-in by any means. Club must continually work to improve. Very worried about 3B; I see it as a major, lingering problem with no easy solutions. Hoping for the best doesn't seem like a terrific plan to me, though in fairness I don't know what else the Mets can do (other than retain Murphy or sign Zobrist). No 3B help anywhere in the minor league system.

And Tom, I'm more or less with you. But I'd love to see a Gold Glove SS working on a daily basis behind this staff.

James Preller

Anonymous said...

I am with Bob Gregory on Cespedes, provided the deal is not inflated. I could see 5 years, $100. Something like that. (Yes, I agree; I think he lost $50 million with his final six weeks of the 2015 season.)

Of course, he is a flawed player. And maybe a little bit of a detached guy, though there are cultural factors here that make him difficult to read.

Guess what? Strawberry had a dozen things wrong with him too -- and all anybody ever did was complain about him -- yet the numbers were real. The production was real. The threat in the batting order was real.

Cespedes had, what?, the second-most XBH in baseball last year?

I think he's unlikely target at this point, but I for one would be willing to make him an offer.

Right now, Mets are waiting on Murphy's response to QO, then they can formulate a real plan.

James Preller

Dallas said...

The Mets do need to restock the shelves. There are a lot of solid free agents that don't cost a draft pick (and hopefully we get one for Murph). With a WS appearance and revenue clearly on the way up with tickets and SNY it would be a good time to spend money and stockpile some talent so that we don't have to trade 10 players from our system again at the deadline this year. Spending on FA and trading them later or getting a QO while keeping the system strong is advantages that big market teams have they we arent really taking advantage of. Our one big move last winter was signing a old injury prone guy to a short term contract that gave up our first rounder.

Christopher Soto said...

@James Preller

Thanks for your response.....in regards to your inquiry....Yes...I too believe right now would be a fine opportunity to use Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler as trade bait.

As much as I love Matz, quick frankly, he is never going to be any better than the #4 SP in our rotation. That's how good the trio of Harvey/deGrom/Syndergaard are.

Christopher Soto said...


An update on Andrelton Simmons....the Mets called the Braves this morning and asked about him.....The Braves response was that they wanted Matt Harvey or Jacob deGrom in return.

In other words....pass whatever those guys are smoking cause it must be some good shit.

Mack Ade said...

Chris -

Regarding the Braves, Simmons, and Harvey, this is how a negotiation starts not finishes.

Go back to them and test the waters... say Harvey for Simmons, Freddie Freeman, and one of their quality relievers...

They know a player like Harvey isn't ever going to be available in a 1-for-1 deal

Anonymous said...


You know that's just the first steps to the dance. It's a negotiation. They want Matz. I see that as a very tough decision, especially within the division.

Simmons is locked up for the next 5 years.

The other thing that every team in baseball knows is that the Mets are willing to part with Wheeler & Flores in a trade.

Losing Matz would hurt, possibly a lot, especially if he becomes Jon Matlack II.

I guess I'd hold on to Matz, given that the club actually has Cecchini & Rosario inching closer. But if Wheeler, a Georgia boy, gets it done . . . I'd be there in a heartbeat.

James Preller

Christopher Soto said...

If I'm John Ricco....I'm calling the Braves back and offering Zack Wheeler + Gavin Cecchini for Simmons

bob gregory said...

I would look toward Miami and Hechavarria before Simmons.
Better balance of offense and defense.

Thomas Brennan said...

Wheeler and Cecchini for Simmons. Chris, I like that one. As James notes, Wheeler is a Georgia boy. Throw in a Guillorme type if need be, but I think Wheeler and Cecchini are enough.

bob gregory said...

Simmons does not address the bigger need of offense the Mets have.

Strikeout throwing pitchers (that also do not walk many batters) do not need to rely so heavily of defense to sacrifice Simmons offense unless the total team offense is below major league quality.

Mack Ade said...

To all -

I throw a lot of things out here via comments but I do have do say something.

I do not want to trade ANY of the 'Big 5' in 2016.

I think the best chance of getting back to,first, the playoffs, and then, the World Series, is having these 5 guys in your rotation.

also would continue to go on record that none of the starters were available, but, in one-on-one conversations with other GMs, I would welcome them to propose any offer for any of the 5 if they wish to.

I don't think Harvey will be around in 2019, but I'd like to keep the current rotation around for the next three years. I've dreamed about this for a long time and I belive the future of this team could be built around these guys.

bob gregory said...


I agree with all that you said.
Just one adjustment....that future you refer to is now.

I know it has been quite a few years of always having to hope in the future while enduring the present.

That future you dreamed of is here. It is here now.
If past habits of future fixation are not overcome by the Mets organization and fans, the now will pass by with just a whimper.

Mack Ade said...

And Bob...

we go into 2016 with a healthy David Wright, a healthy Travis d'Arnaud, Steven Matz, and Michael Conforto.

This is already a far better team that went 51-50 for the first 101 games.

bob gregory said...

Healthy Wright & D'Arnaud? ?

It would be irresponsible to balance the success of next year's Mets team on their health.

They can not be seen as reasonably expected to play more games in a year than their average over the past 3.

They are the frosting on the cake. The hitters that may put the team over the top.

The team needs to build the strong base offense that can withstand their annual injury absences in order to balance the pitching.

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

could you go back and read what I said...

'we go into 2016...'


Anonymous said...

Well, there's work to be done.

A healthy Wright? That ship has sailed. I'm not counting him.

I'd love to see a healthy d'Arnaud play a full year. It would be a first.

I like Conforto in the 3-hole.

Mets still have a weak bullpen, questions in CF, terrible defense at SS & 3B, questions at 2B. And very likely a 3B who will struggle to stay on the field. 20 strikeouts in 54 postseason ABs. That scares me.

There's work to do. I see a farm system that does not have much to offer in a trade, and ownership that is still unwilling to spend.

I'm less interested in "5 Aces" than I am in a balanced team that can hit, run, and field -- as well as pitch. This offseason is going to be a real test for Sandy Alderson. Trying to beat the first-half, 2015 Mets is not prize we should be aiming for. The Nationals will be back. So will the Pirates, the Cubs, the Cards, the Dodgers, the Giants.

Starting pitching alone won't get it done. I don't want the Mets of the early 70s to be the closest comparison point. Personally, I think trading a starting pitcher is a matter of timing. This winter may not be the optimal time. A healthy Wheeler changes much.

We shall see!

James Preller

bob gregory said...


I am just pointing out that the Mets went into 2015 with a healthy Wright and D'Arnaud.

If it wasn't for the ineptitude of the Nationals, the Mets would never have been close enough to make upgrades at the trade deadline.

Mack's Mets © 2012