Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
Mack's Mets @JohnMackinAde - @AdamRubinESPN - Adam, would Flores be backup first baseman right now?
Adam Rubin @AdamRubinESPN - @JohnMackinAde Looking at the roster today, I suppose so.
I found an interesting article on how Mets second baseman Neil Walker “lost faith” with the Pirates organization after being a native there and a lifelong member of that organization. It’s an interesting look at the player and a reminder that this is a business, not a game.
Bob wrote -
Ok Mack here is my short list if 1st basemen I would target in the hopes of upgrading from Duda with a more consistent offensive 3rd or 4th place hitter.
1st choice: Joey Votto
2nd choice: Jose Abreu- should have gotten him as an international free agent
3rd choice: Edwin Encarnacion
4th Choice: Prince Fielder (keep in mind Detroit is paying $6 million every year for the next 5 years bringing the $23 million/yr down to $18 million/yr. If the Mets could get Texas to pay another $3 million/yr the value would seem appropriate (especially with present contract prices) this choice I did not expect but look at Fielder's low strikeouts and high avg.
5th choice: 3B/1B Todd Frazier: less high on him after looking at his 2nd half decline last year.
Outside the box mention: George Springer
I am sure there are more Outfielders or 3rd basemen that could warrant consideration to switch to 1st base, but that would be a topic for another time.
What do you think? Any candidates you can add? Thanks for your consideration. Bob Gregory
Mack – First of all, thanks for answering my comment and emailing me your ‘top 5’ list for a possible replacement for Lucas Duda. Let’s dig in -
Votto – Cincy – 1B - will play 2016 as a 32 year old – has an existing contract that ranged from $20mil to $25mil a year through 2023.
Abreu – CWS – 1B – signed 6-year deal with the White Sox through 2019., averaging $11,667 - $13,667/yr. – will play 2016 as a 29-year old
Encarnacion – DH/1B – plays a considerable amount of his games now as a DH – will play 2016 as a 33-year old – becomes a free agent after the 2016 season after being paid $10mil for that season.
Fielder – DH – played exclusively as a DH in 2015 – will play 2016 as a 32-year old – still has to be paid $18mil a year through 2020 (36 years old)
Frazier – 3B/1B – will play 2006 as a 30-year old – really doesn’t play 1B anymore – ARB2 in 2016 ($8.25mil) – free agent in 2018
Springer – only true outfielder on your list – played RF exclusively in 2015 – will play 2016 as a 26-year old - $600K – pre-ARB and under team control until 2021
The one thing that stands out to me here is, other that Springer who right now is an afterthought for first base, all these guys are in the 30+ range, an age you have been very critical about in the past when it comes to considering possible candidates for the Mets’ 3 and 4’ slot in the lineup.
What I agree with you on is their talent level. Duda does not have more talent than any of these guys.
My other thought is simple.
You’re not going to get one of these guys unless you trade away one of the Mets ‘Big Three’ starters. Even Steven Matz won’t bring you in this kind of hitter. The Mets just traded Jon Niese, Rafael Montero is still a question mark for opening day, and Zack Wheeler has an ETA of July 1st. The system has been weakened greatly when it comes to prospects and I’m not ready to open the 2016 season without my current pitching staff in place.
Big bat or no big bat… I want to see how these four guys (and Wheeler) play out for the season.
One of the great New York sportswriters of my generation, Phil Pepe , died this week at 80 years old.
He covered the Yankees his entire journalist career (New York Wolrd Telegram and Sun, New York Daily News) until he expanded his reach becoming the moring sports guy (15-years) for WCBS radio.
He was truly one of the great ones.