The Morning Report 11.16.2015 | Murphy Declines Qualifying Offer, Wheeler Not Being Shopped but Available in Trades, Mets interested in CF Jackie Bradley, 1B Freddie Freeman on the Trade Block


Jared Diamond Wall Street Journal- Longtime Mets infielder Daniel Murphy declined a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer before Friday’s deadline to do so, indicating that he intends to pursue a multiyear deal elsewhere. If Murphy departs for another team, the Mets will receive an additional draft pick between the first and second rounds of next June’s draft as compensation. On the open market, the 30-year-old Murphy will probably command upward of $10 million a year for up to four years. At this point, the Mets don’t appear interested in retaining Murphy under those conditions, likely marking the end of a relationship that started nearly a decade ago.

(Chris Soto: Murphy was always unlikely to accept the Qualifying Offer. He has always expressed himself as a family man, especially when unfairly took fan abuse for skipping games to be at his child's birth. As a family man he was likely to test the open market in hopes of obtaining long term stability for himself, his wife, and his children. We wish Daniel Murphy as the best as he truly was a an exemplary Met during his career. He will be sorely missed but this is indeed the right move for both sides.)

Mike Axisa | CBS Sports- As we saw in the postseason, no team boasts as much impressive young pitching as the Mets. One young pitcher we did not see in October is right-hander Zack Wheeler, who missed the 2015 season while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. The club remains open to discussing Wheeler in trades, "We're not actively shopping Zack by any stretch," Ricco told Newsday. "But as with the other starters, if something came up that we thought made us better, we're going to talk about it."

(Chris Soto: The nixed deal between the Brewers and Mets for Carlos Gomez both resulted in the Mets acquiring OF Yeonis Cespedes, as well as, establishing a trade base for the injured Wheeler. Despite still recovering from Tommy John, to be able to acquire Gomez with Wheeler as the centerpiece shows that Wheeler still has immense value in trade talks. The Mets will likely need to be blown away with a similar offer in order to trade but I would bet good money that we will likely see something go down this winter.)

Michael Baron Just Mets- Last week, Mets assistant GM John Ricco said the club had no intention to replace Juan Lagares in centerfield, and would instead like to find a left-handed complement to Lagares to form a potential platoon. One player the Mets are exploring is Red Sox OF Jackie Bradley Jr. He’s a left-handed hitter and an outstanding outfielder, capable of playing in all three spots. He has spent most of his big league time in center field, and as was the case with Lagares in 2014, Bradley was tremendous in center.

(Chris Soto: I can certainly see the fit...Bradley is a superb defensive CF and his left hander while Lagares is a superb defender and is a righty. Only problem with the logic is that Bradley hit almost 80 points better against lefties than he did righties this past season. The reverse split is consistent with his career thus far. In addition, the Red Sox do not view Bradley as a platoon CF, they feel he can be a superb defender with an above average bat as evidenced by his .832 OPS this season. A mark that is almost 200 basis points HIGHER than Lagares' 2015 OPS. The asking price for Bradley is going to be quite high. )

HOT STOVE REPORT (courtesy of mlbtraderumor.com)
  • According to Ken Davidoff of the NY Post, the Mets are one of the teams in the running to sign Ben Zobrist this offseason. The club views Zobrist as a candidate to replace Murphy at 2B while also providing depth in the corner OF spot.
  • The Mets have signed minor league IF Ty Kelly to a minor league contract with an invite to big league camp. During 2015, Kelly hit .226 with a .619 OPS in AAA while playing 2B, 3B, and all 3 OF spots.  
  • Having traded SS Andrelton Simmons, the Braves now are looking to trade star 1B Freddie Freeman as they continue to shed payroll off the books. Freeman is scheduled to be paid $12M this season followed by $20M starting in 2017 through 2021.

(Chris Soto: Boy....the Braves are just cleaning house huh. I would love to have Freddie Freeman on the team, however, just like with Simmons, the Braves are very unlikely to trade him in house to a division opponent. On top of that, Freeman is going to be making a ton of money starting next season for a long time. Even in a improved financial state I'm not quite sure the Mets would be able to handle such a large percentage of the team payroll being tied up to both Wright and Freeman.)


Thomas Brennan said...

Wheeler has two less lost months of baseball than he had as of late July, and 2 more months of progress and no setbacks. If he is traded, the price should be sky high.

There should be huge competition for a guy like that, higher than Bradley Jr. if we are not absolutely bowled over, keep him. He'll be another great arm for us in the 2016 World Series.

Thomas Brennan said...

Bradley's #s were pretty awful before last year. He has struck out as much as Kirk (221 times in 785 plate appearances), and we have vilified Kirk often.

Bradley'd be a lefty in large Citifield which might negate his power, which has not been huge to begin with. Are we 100% sure he'd be better than Ceciliani? Bradley's first 2 cups of coffee, in 2013 and 2014, he was up over 500 times for Boston and hit under .200.

Ceciliani struggled in his short cup of coffee year last year, but he had better #'s in minors last year than Bradley ever had. Could Ceciliani break out in 2016?

Ernest Dove said...

Im a little scared off by the Jackie Bradley Jr thing. .....
I mean, at this point, based on what he's shown overall, can anyone truly say he's better than even Brandon Nimmo?
I guess it depends on what mets have to trade. ............certainly not any of the stud pitchers....
Would they take Niese and a top 20 prospect?

Kevin S said...

Man Freeman would really excite me. I understand not wanting to deal within the division but Wheeler, Dom Smith and Rosario would be a solid haul in my opinion for Freeman. You could then package Duda for that reliever we're looking for (Mark Melancon?). Freeman is a difference maker and guys like that don't become available all that often. If he were a FA, he'd be getting a $200M deal. Instead we'd get him for 6/112 and would be signed through age 32-33. Yes please.

Mack Ade said...

Morning -

Just opinions here...

I have always liked JBB and was surprised that he didn't play better when he first came up. He was a top prospect. I would love to have him platooning with Lagares.

Regarding Freeman, I really can't see the Mets paying this kind of money for him when they have Smith in the system with an ETA of 2017

Thomas Brennan said...

Interesting, Kevin, but I'd not give up those 3 guys for Freeman. Too much

Lew Rhodes said...

I would do Wheeler for Freeman in a heartbeat

But that's it - given their respective ages and salaries, that would be a really good deal for the Braves.

Then you can deal Duda to an AL team for something solid -- God, think what Duda could do playing in Yankee stadium? He could hit 45+ HRs playing 81 games in that stadium

Kevin S said...

Everyone is entitle to their opinions but I think Freeman is definitely work it. His past three seasons:

2013 (Age 23) .319/.396/.501 - OPS .897
2014 (Age 24) .388/.386/.461 - OPS .847
2015 (Age 25) .276/.370-.471 - OPS .841

He is a stud!!! I like Dom Smith as much as the next guy but he's still hasn't played in AA yet and hasn't shown typical 1B over the fence power. Prospects don't always turn out the way we want and he's no sure thing to be a stud, let alone be an major league regular. He could easily be James Loney. Sorry but I'd rather have Freddie in his prime, even at $20M.

Lew Rhodes said...

If we want a LH hitting compliment to Lagares - try Nimmo:

His OPS Versus RHP the past three years:

2015 - .918
2014 - .872
2013 - .794

Notice a trend? He hits RHP well and has gotten better every year. Although he had limited ABs last year, he sure excelled while on the field - which I guess is the rub, huh?

Lew Rhodes said...

THe 2015 numbers were AAA - his AA OPS vs. RHP was only .746

Lew Rhodes said...

One small issue with Freeman - his career in Atlanta (a hitter's park) he sports an .860 OPS - on the road it is .807 - which is still respectable.

Also - it was only one year, but he missed a lot of time last year - i can't recall the injury - was it a type that could be repetitive or a fluky one?

Two years ago he played 162 games, so there definitely isn't a pattern.

Still - I sign Heyward instead because all he costs is $$$$$$, and fills a bigger position of need (OF)

Kevin S said...

Disagree Lew, Heyward will end up costing about $80M more than Freeman; which is significant. I also don't buy into the idea of signing Heyward and Zobrist to be our SS & CF. Heyward has 30 career games in CF in 6 seasons. Zobrist has about 50 games at SS in the last 3 seasons. If these guys could adequately play these positions, don't you think they would've seen more playing time before?

Kevin S said...

Not saying that you recommended Zobrist as SS but I've been seeing it mentioned a lot this past week.

bob gregory said...

Lagares should not be given anything.
He was a starter that worked his way out of being the starter.
Whether it was injury or not, he should need to prove himself all over again.
Right now he should be a 4th outfielder.

Regarding the thought of inaction based upon waiting for prospects that may arrive in 2017 and beyond:
Please realize that cuts 2 years into the 3 years the 5 young pitchers are under team control.
So, waiting on any of the 2017 and beyond prospects (that may or may not bloom) wastes years of the Mets potentially dominating pitching staff.

I'll say it again. The future is Now!

Kevin S said...

Agree 100% Bob. When they brought in Uribe & Johnson at the deadline, everyone was on notice to either hit or sit and you could see the difference. Adding Cespedes took pressure off everyone else to try and be a hero and just go out there and play. Freeman would take Cespedes' spot as that guy. Fill out the rest of the 25 man roster with guys you would want as starters. Let Juan fight for the CF job. Let guys fight for the 2B job. What that does is give you hungry ball players and creates a solid bench.

Mack Ade said...

Lew -

Regarding Nimmo, you can't say that AA-AAA numbers will translate intl MLB numbers. I could state 1,000's of examples.

bob gregory said...

Another thing:

This whole thing being reported that the Mets are interested in and have contacted Zobrist as a free agent makes no sense.
Sure, he can help a ball club.

The problem is that he is one of those extra guys that you use to finish your team with. At 35 yrs of age he is not what you focus on when your team already has core positions to fill.

A steady presence in the heart of the lineup is needed before trimmings like Zobrist are needed.

Wright, D'Arnaud, Duda and yes even Conforto can not be depended upon to be that middle of the order consistent.
Wright & D'Arnaud's track records in terms of injury all but guarantee long injury absences.
Duda is too erratic.
Conforto is promising, but not enough of an MLB track record for a team that plans to be in the playoffs to enter the season and depend on as the consistent presence in the middle of the order.

The most available positions for such a player to play are limited.
3rd base, Catcher, Left Field, & Right field are locked.
1st base has an adequate place holder currently.

One of 2nd base or SS appear to be available.
CF appears to be available.
And 1st base could potentially be upgraded.

One of these positions must be filled with a quality, dependable, high performing, consistent offensive presence before Zobristshould be pursued, if the Mets are interested in maximizing the value of their starting pitching advantage on the way to a 2016 playoff run.

Ernest Dove said...

Its fun talking 'Chipper' Freeman, but if the rumors are true and the Braves wanted guys like Matz, Thor and Conforto for Simmons then imagine their asking price for Freeman.......
I agree that Freeman would actually be a better fit then Hayward, we have to be realistic.
Maybe if Mets agree to take on Freeman ENTIRE salary that Would cost them maybe one less top prospect, but again I say not happening.

Kevin S said...

I really don't see Freeman's salary as an issue. He'll be earning a max of $20M/season during his prime years (which would be below market value). Those prime years align perfectly with the window to compete with Harvey/deGrom/Thor & Matz. Wait to see how much Chris Davis gets (who's significantly older, worse in the field and has bigger flaws in his offensive game).

The Braves are loading up on pitching talent with the Heyward, Kimbrel and Simmons deals. A Freeman trade involving Wheeler would give them 2 real solid pieces in Shelby Miller and Wheeler to build around.

It makes too much sense... so there is no way it happens.

Lew Rhodes said...

Bob - I completely disagree on Zobrist - he is EXACTLY what we need.

He provides insurance for:

2b - if Herrera can't cut it
SS - we have Flores / Rueben
3b - Wright's back

and a RH compliment to the corner outfields.

I doubt highly that Sandy is thinking of him as the key piece for us.

He is looking at him as a great insurance plan across multiple positions.

That being said - only if the price is right should we bite on him.

Lew Rhodes said...

Kevin - It's not my money - so I can throw it around.

But, at the end of the day:

Wheeler + Heyward > Freeman

And, Heyward doesn't play center.

Granderson does - with a super plus defensive RFer and the makings of a plus defensive LFer, Grandy could handle CF.

Of course, the real problem with that plan is you are Lefty / Lefty / Lefty in the outfield

bob gregory said...


My point is that adding the middle of the order consistent performer is more important than Zobrist.

Sure, adding Zobrist afterward is helpful. Be mindful though, adding Zobrist at 35 locks in a position while he is 36, 37, and possibly 38 as well.

Kevin S said...


I bet a runner could tag from 2B and score on a fly out to the CF warning track with Granderson out there. I'd rather play Heyward out there.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack knows that the real shortstop solutions are Danny Muno and Matt Reynolds, but just can't bring himself to say it LOL

bob gregory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bob gregory said...

Think about this possibility:

The Mets big Free Agent acquisitions in 2015 & 2016 could be....
Cuddyer & Zobrist.


Alderson lucked the Mets way into the playoffs this year due to the Nationals ineptitude and weak years from Atlanta and Miami. Please keep in mind that without that extraordinary luck this past year, the Mets never would have made the mid-season acquisitions and never would have made the playoffs.

Unless he changes his usual modes of operations (as he did during the trade-deadline period) the Mets enter the season as yet another team fighting for the right to play 1 wild card game.

That would be a waste of a pitching staff that could be historic

Kevin S said...

Hypothetical situation...

In an effort to be more balance (L/R & AVE/PWR), Houston signs Jason Heyward and makes George Springer available. They starting OF is Rasmus, Gomez & Heyward. First call they make is to the Mets because everyone wants a young SP.

Does Wheeler and Duda get it done?

As much as everyone talked about the Cubs and Mets being perfect matches for a trade, I always thought Houston was a perfect trade partner as well (tons of bats).

Gary Seagren said...

All good ideas but until I see them actually spend real money on someone I still think they'll ride the big 4 and then 5 and see where we are in July and only then repeat something like they did last year. I think we'll be hearing about financial restrictions forever going forward warranted or not.

Kevin S said...


If that's the case, I'll be seriously pissed. Along with 1000s of excited fans, I invested $1,000 of my own money for a ticket to Game 3. Think about how much $ those 3 world series games brought in. Add in the other 4 playoff games.

They have to see the correlation in revenue after they invested in this team at the deadline. They need to invest in this team now, and continue to invest, smartly of course. No one expects a $200M payroll next year. But they need to continue to invest and eventually get up around that Luxury Tax line.

Mack's Mets © 2012