The Morning Report 12.10.2015 | Mets Trade for 2B Neil Walker, Sign Free Agent SS Asdrubal Cabrera, Interested in Bringing Back SP Bartolo Colon


Chris Cwik | Yahoo Big League Stew-  After losing out on Ben Zobrist, the New York Mets decided to go another direction at second base. The team traded pitcher Jon Niese to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for second baseman Neil Walker. The move all but guarantees playoff hero Daniel Murphy will not return to the club next season. The move also enables the Mets to send Herrera to the minors for more seasoning in preparation of him taking over the full-time role once Walker leaves.  Herrera came into last season as a top-50 prospect according to Baseball America, but hit just .211 during his limited call up.

(Chris Soto: After sleeping on this trade overnight, I am still quite happy with the move. The club was able to fill a position of concern, trade from their team' strength without diminishing said strength, and provided the opportunity to get Herrera some more seasoning, as well as, open up some competition for the 5th spot in the rotation. Adding Walker only adds $1-2m of payroll vs. the $15m it would have required to add Zobrist. Lastly, with a rotation spot open, the club can now bring back Bartolo Colon on a 1 yr low salary deal to be a solid bridge till Zack Wheeler is healthy again. Let's say he signs for $5M per season....the net gain in funds for the off--season ends up being $8m that can be used elsewhere to improve the team.)

Associated Press CBS New York- The Mets now have nice depth in their infield. Hours after trading for second baseman Neil Walker on Wednesday, the Amazin’s agreed to a two-year, $18.5 million contract with veteran shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. The 30-year-old switch-hitter is viewed as an offensive upgrade over Wilmer Flores. Over his nine-year career, Cabrera is .267 hitter with a .329 on-base percentage and a .740 OPS. Cabrera’s best season came with the Cleveland Indians back in 2011 when he was an All-Star and finished with a career-high 25 homers and 92 RBI.

(Chris Soto: Well....there goes the $8m per season I was talking about. As much as we love Flores' hitting potential, the fact of the matter is, his bat left much to be desired even at SS let alone at the more offensive oriented 2B position. His bat was supposed to make up for his defensive shortcomings but unfortunately he has done nothing but post below league average numbers in both departments. Defensively, Asdrubal is not that great at SS either, but he has surer hands and better instincts at the position that can limit the damage. Offensively, he's had some down years [2013, 2014] but most of his other seasons he is usually one of the Top 5 offensive SS in baseball. He even garnered some MVP votes in 2011 when he launched 25 HRs for the Cleveland Indians.)

Danny Abriano | Rising Apple- The Mets will likely re-sign RHP Bartolo Colon, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. With Niese now in Pittsburgh, bringing Colon back makes perfect sense. Ideally, Colon will be in the starting rotation until Zack Wheeler returns from Tommy John surgery in June or July. Once Wheeler is back, Colon can shift to the bullpen — where he excelled in the postseason. Or, if the Mets are comfortable with their fallback options during the summer, they could always trade Colon to a team in need of rotation help. If the Mets don’t sign Colon or another starting pitcher, Logan Verrett would be an option, and Sean Gilmartin has experience starting as well. The Mets could also potentially turn to Rafael Montero, who missed the majority of last season due to shoulder issues, but who is due to begin pitching in winter ball next week.

(Chris Soto: I love the idea of bringing back Bartolo on a 1yr low salary deal. Not only is he a consistent Innings eater who can take pressure off the bullpen, but he's just a flat out great clubhouse guy. He knows how to have fun and enjoy the NYC market. Sure he has his occassional blow-ups on the mound whenever he doesn't have fastball command but the fans love him, and more importantly, the young arms in the rotation gravitate to him and learn about his mastery of pure fastball command. There is no risk to signing him back on.)

HOT STOVE REPORT (courtesy of mlbtraderumor.com)
  • Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting that the Colorado Rockies are taking offers on all 3 of their OF's Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, and Corey Dickerson. 
  • The Phillies traded young RH closer Ken Giles to the Houston Astros for RHSP Vincent Velasquez, LHSP Brett Oberholtzer, OF Derek Fisher, and RHP Thomas Eshelman.

(Chris Soto: That's a solid haul for Giles and it's one that the Mets could actually top if they made Familia available for trade.....but that isn't going to happen.

     The Rockies making Charlie Blackmon available is extremely enticing. Blackmon has 3 yrs left of cost control left via arbitration and he has a massive amount of speed that can extremely valuable at the top of a batting order. His speed also helps mitigate the fact that you should be expecting some power decline moving from Coors Field to Citi Field. He isn't rated as a good defender in CF, but there is a TON of ground to cover in Coors so a move to Citi Field's smaller dimensions could be helpful. He's certainly worth taking a look at.)


Tom Brennan said...

I am pleased with Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker pick ups, certainly more so than a 4 year deal for Old Ben Zobrist.

Herrera will not be unduly held back - I was concerned about Dilson...this isn't 2012 anymore, where we can hope a guy is ready. We are a WS contender, so guys need to be ready to go Day 1. Not clear Herrera would not have more growing pains. He can conti he to improve in AAA until needed.

Meanwhile, having Flores ready to play 1st, 2nd, SS and 393rd means he'll see lots of playing time.

Bring back Big Bad Bart - we need his bat :)

Ernest Dove said...

So If I understand correctly, Mets now full at 40man roster.........I mention this because everyone says they need a CF and at least 1-2 bullpen arms.......this will continue to get interesting.
One things for sure the Mets absolutely need a lefty hitter added to the 25man. So far we got tejada Wilmer plawecki as bench guys and people seem intent on making righty lagares a role player so that's another righty on bench.
I assume some/many aren't happy if a CF is not signed and kirk becomes number one lefty off bench late in games.

Metsiac said...

If the 40 is full, we need to clear a spot for Bart and forego the Rule 5. Adding a CFer and strengthening the pen also create room problems.

Christopher Soto said...

@Metsiac and Ernest

The Asdrubal Cabrera signing has not been made official yet so the 40 man roster still stands at 39.

The Mets do have room to add 1 player via the Rule 5 draft if need be

Zozo said...

I like both of yesterday's moves. Especially the Niese deal, we should be able to get a supplemental first rounder next year for Walker and decrease the payroll by 10 million 2 years earlier than expected.

They probably won't officially sign Adrubal til after the the rule 5, so if they do select someone they still have a spot open.

When I heard about the Rockies yesterday I was hoping we could get Blackmon, do you think a straight up trade for Duda would work?

Tom Brennan said...

Ernest, Kirk is not my first choice for 4th OF. I DO NOT REALLY EVEN WANT HIM FOR 5TH.

Zozo said...

Also keeping fingers crossed Becerra doesn't got to the Braves, Reds or Phillies?

Alexander Han said...

I'm also happy about the the Neil Walker trade, makes a lot of sense.

Cabrera a little less compelling. We now have 4 middle infielders of very similar middle-ish quality. Assuming Cabrera and Flores can field 3B, that gives us 2 backups there. It certainly seems like we have one surplus. I wonder if the Mets will now dangle one of those as part of a trade package.... ? Would explain the 40-man roster being full, too.

All in all a couple of decent moves but very unexciting if this is it. Even if we get Parra or Span, to quote Bob Gregory, we still don't have a #3 or #4 hitter. I certainly hope Sandy has a few tricks up his sleeve to trade for some difference makers. I really hope so.

Waiting for the trade deadline is just not something you should do every year...


bgreg98180 said...

Thanks for the mention Alexander.

I still think Cespedes makes the most sense to bring back to the team when it comes to value added versus the cost in Money and/or prospects of alternatives.

Additionally, I would focus on upgrading 1st base with a more consistent #3 or #4 hitter. (Votto could be wonderful example target-wise)

TP said...

I agree 100% with your comments.

The moves yesterday were decent/good, and I do agree that together they are better than sinking $60 million into 35-year-old and in decline Ben Zobrist. That said, this team is far from finished. I would be much more comfortable with Bartolo inked, although I don't think the marketplace will permit the Mets to get him on the cheap. The bullpen is still in need of a quality late inning arm and a LOOGY. I would prioritize the OF compliment to Lagares still a need but the lowest since they do have Kirk and Ceciliani that could emerge, at least to start the season. The lineup scares me a little, especially in the crucial 3 and 4 spots, but it is definitely longer and with more depth. If they add the pitching I mentioned above, they can get away with not acquiring an OF bopper. But, they had better not count on replicating the Cespedes import from last year - his impact was an exception.

Reese Kaplan said...

@soto I can accept people criticizing Flores for his defense (though he was praised for it by the post-season announcers repeatedly). However, in what universe is 16 HRs, 59 RBIs and just 63Ks and a .263 batting average in under 500 ABs NOT up to league average? It's well in excess for the shortstop position and would place him in excess of most 2nd basemen, too.

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