The Morning Report 12.31.2015 | The Value of Depth vs Superstardom, Piazza Gains 0.2% In HOF Public Ballots, Alex Torres Signs With Atlanta


Andre Dobley Metsmerized OnlineIn my estimation, this current Mets roster – as it is – looks like a 90-win team on paper and in conservative projections. And since there is no Bryce Harper or Max Scherzer or Giancarlo Stanton star player in there who is expected to carry the load pretty much by himself as a 6+ win caliber player, it´s a far less riskier projection than for top-heavy teams that are strongly dependent on good health to a few elite performers and whose seasons can easily be derailed. That is less likely if your strength is in quality depth – even with a lack of star power. It´s easier to replace a solid 3-win player than it is to replace an elite-level 7-win player if you have a 90-win outlook.

(Chris Soto: Andre does make a good point here. If a team has quality depth....it is significantly easier to replace a projected above average 3.0 WAR player like David Wright than it is to replace a projected superstar 7.0+WAR player like Giancarlo Stanton. The Mets 2016 season isn't going to hinge on the health of 1 or 2 guys like last year. Their are multiple swiss army knifes in Terry Collins pocket that can be utilized to fit whatever role is needed and any point in time in the season.)

Ryan Thibs BBHOF Ballot Tracker(updated 12.31.2015)

Ken Griffey Jr. | 100%
Mike Piazza      | 90.3%
Jeff Bagwell     | 83.9%
Tim Raines       | 79.8%

Trevor Hoffman | 64.5%
Curt Schilling    | 61.3%
Mike Mussina    | 56.5%
Barry Bonds      | 50.0%
Roger Clemens  | 49.2%
Edgar Martinez  | 49.2%
Alan Trammell   | 48.4%

HOT STOVE REPORT (courtesy of mlbtraderumor.com)
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed LHSP Scott Kazmir to a 3 yr deal worth $48M but the contract has an opt-out clause after the 1st season.
  • The Mets lost another minor league free agent yesterday as LHRP Alex Torres signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves. 


Thomas Brennan said...

Happy New Years wishes to everyone.

Lots of solid players can't remove my desire for a feared bopper. Maybe our feared bopper will emerge in Michael Conforto.

I read one article that suggested Cespedes could go to Nags. Lets hope not.

Mack Ade said...

Morning to all and Happy New Year back to you Tom.

It is a far better opening day lineup and I believe Conforto will emerge this year as the #3 hitter.

Ernest Dove said...

Its a nice positive spin on things to say Mets can handle injuries bbecause they wouldn't have to replace stars but this is still a new york market team in a sport with no salary cap.
And all it takes is for guys like Stanton or Harper or Goldschmit to hit a 2-3run homer against our stud pitchers and Mets can lose 2-1 or 3-2 thus causing fan chaos about our offense.
But anyway none of this can matter if Conforto is ready to shine and travist can stay healthy because I still honestly say they can be legit middle of the order bats who can produce equal or more than a murph/cespedes lineup.

jshapps77 said...

Right, but since you can't just get these middle-of-the-order impact bats without giving a 7+ year contract, there is no chance that is going to happen without dealing from our studly rotation. Given that, I think the depth approach is very smart. I would have gone is a different directions that de Aza, but I don't think the difference between de Aza and Span/Parra would make much of a difference to the 2016 Mets.

bob gregory said...

You are exaggerating. All indications seem to be that Cespedes will sign for less than 7+yrs.

And the flaw I see in this "depth approach" is not the lack if power. It is the lack of higher avg. Hitters and poor health histories of D'Arnaud, Wright, & even Lagares.

Add to those offensive negatives the poor pitching health history the Mets organization has over the past few years.
Just how many pitchers that were supposed to contribute for the Mets suffered serious injuries over the past few years?

Is this year suddenly going to break that trend?
Remember all of these pitchers pushed their innings limits last year.
If the trend continues, who will it be this year? How many?
DeGrom? Matz? Syndergaard? Harvey again? Set back for Wheeler? Mejia?

What happens if 2 of these pitchers are injured?

Is it really far fetched or pessimistic to see both D'Arnaud, Wright, & Lagares missing significant time due to injury and 2 of the above pitchers missing significant time next season? Or is it a realistic bet given the past few years of MLB & NY Met history?

Obtaining a 3rd and/or 4th place hitter(s) would go so far in protecting team performance against an injury threat that is very much realistic.

$110 million dollar payroll with a realistic chance of allowing just a couple injuries keep the post season out of reach?
$120-130 million payroll that still has depth but can better withstand and over come the realistic injury threat to make and succeed in the playoffs?

Which makes more financial sense?

And let's be honest here. Any talk of not wanting a Cespedes or Upton type of hitter on the roster. All the talk of favoring the "depth approach" vs getting a 3rd and/or 4th place hitter is Met fans just consoling ourselves. Trying to make ourselves feel better.

By the way, the depth approach would work so much better if the depth players had better batting averages. Too many instances over the past 5 years of Mets putting men on base in scoring position and the next 2 or 3 batters striking out, grounding into double play, popping up, or hitting a weak grounder.

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

You have to get over your almost obsession with future injuries.

Let the season open and go with the flow, man.

jshapps77 said...

Okay, maybe Cespedes won't get 7 years. The Mets have shown no inclination to invest in a 4 contract longer than 4 years to anybody who isn't the home-grown face of the franchise. And that one looks like it's gonna work out pretty well, huh?

We have a difference of opinion on Batting Average. It's just one of many statistics, and one of the worst to build a team around, IMO. A team full of Daniel Murphy's best year will net you less on offense than a team full of Lucas Duda's average season. No matter how frustrating it may be to watch.

I can't understand the idea that because many of our players are injury risks, and unlikely to play 150 games, that taking the depth approach is a bad thing. Again, I wish it was someone better than de Aza, and I wish we had the legit 8th inning reliever that would bring our payroll up to the $120s, but I don't think those things are out the question yet. I have no issues with the Mets starting with the current team and making the necessary adjustments with the payroll flexibility they still have.

Finally, I'm not a Met fan consoling myself over not getting a 3/4 hitter. I'm a realistic Mets fan that lives in the real world. I choose to enjoy Mets baseball within the parameters that the team has made obvios they are following. It's like a corollary to the Definition of Insanity...Repeatedly hoping the NY Mets will sign a long-term free agent, and expecting a different outcome than every other time.

Adam Smith said...

I feel ok - not great, but ok about a middle of the order of Wright, Conforto, Duda and TdA, with the mostly solid bats we can juggle to put around them. Yes, this is in part because I know that with the Wilpons in charge, we can't really have nice things. But also, our pitching and a very weak division are huge advantages. I still believe that they'll look to move Harvey after this season and add a young, cost controlled high-ceiling bat that way as the competition gets tougher in '17.

bob gregory said...

That sounds like what the Met front office did the past few years.
How did that work out for those years?

bob gregory said...

Should I rephrase to:
Depth approach by itself?

jshapps77 said...

I don't want to make it seem like I support the Wilpons in any way, well...besides financially, I suppose. I think it sucks a big bag of donkey d!cks that they they have such egos, that the need to keep the team in their family, regardless of it hurting the fans. It's not un-American per se, to use your own profitable business to pay down your debts. I mean at least he's paying them. But it doesn't feel like a baseball team should be operated in this manner. I don't see why MLB would want this either. I'm assuming they don't, but really what recourse do they have? You'd like your sports franchise to be owned by someone who thinks of it as an expensive toy rather than his main cash cow.

But we all know this, and barring another financial mishap from Freddie, he's not going anywhere. I just stopped banging my head against the wall about that a long time ago.

bob gregory said...

I'm sorry I just can't get past the half-truths, misrepresentations, and flat out lies.

Remember the latest: More fans attend games and payroll will rise.
Fan attendance rose.
Payroll is not coming close to equalling the raise in attendance.
Met organization is in hiding. Avoiding accountability for their latest LIE.

Zozo said...


Hey buddy was wondering if you know the answer to this because I Don't know WAR analysis as well as you do. Say we got a CESPEDES type for the lineup and he made the players around him get much better pitches to hit and their War increased due to him in the lineup, does CESPEDES War improve because of what he does to rest of the lineup? Does that show up in WAR stats?

jshapps77 said...

Not depth approach exclusively. Nothing exclusively, cause things change constantly. Luck has so much more to do with all of this that anyone is comfortable admitting. You have to roll with the punches of a long season. That's why I like the depth approach the Mets took this offseason. Obviously the talent level of that depth is the most important part. We basically pushed the chafe off the bottom of the 25-man from last years opening roster. I also like the balance and power of our lineup. There's no huge boppers, but there's nowhere to hide either. Basically everyone in the lineup is capable of producing 15-25 HR, and many get on base at a good clip for those to become multi-run homers. I like that Wilmer, Tejada, de Aza, Dilson are ready to step in an at average/above-average level when people go down. We still need an 8th inning guy, and I'd like to see de Aza pushed to 5th OF (maybe Nimmo?) But, I like the plan, and I feel like we can keep pushing the lesser players off the 25-man for the next few years and continue to improve, while also giving ourselves a chance to win now.

Zozo said...

Also if and when Piazza gets into the Hall, is anyone else interested in meeting up in Cooperstown for a Mack Mets get together?

bob gregory said...

And by that time; Harvey, DeGrom, and Syndergaard will be too expensive for too many years to keep.
Congratulations! !
The Mets are right back where they were 2 yrs ago.

Jeff said...

Good article from Reese last night on the potential of the Mets in 2016. Of course the Met fan drumbeat for YC continues, however I would like to see the evidence that long term deals for hitters work out. Jason Bay is not an outlier, he is the rule. Go to

Find the hitters with long term, big money contracts that have paid off. Last year it was Hanley and Panda, in the past it's been Choo, Ellsbury, Hamilton, Pujols, Reyes and many of the current Yankees. Even Wright's contract doesn't look good now. In 2 years do you want a chain smoking, moody slugger clogging the payroll when it's time to pay the young guns?
No one can deny the impact YC had but have you checked out the Mets lineup about 10 days before he arrived:
RF: Curtis Granderson
SS: Ruben Tejada
3B: Daniel Murphy
1B: Lucas Duda
2B: Wilmer Flores
LF: Kirk Nieuwenhuis
C: Kevin Plawecki
SP: Jacob deGrom
CF: Juan Lagares

No Wright, Conforto, or TD. No Uribe or Johnson. YC was big but he had some help. If the Mets could get him on a 2-3 year deal then sign me up, anything longer and it will be dead money.

bob gregory said...

Miguel Cabrera
Alex Rodriguez ' s 1st big contract.
Beltran was already mentioned.

Just off the top of my head.

Don't forget Cespedes does not look like he will be getting the top shelf contract either.

bob gregory said...

Wonderful point of interest.

Christopher Soto said...


In such a scenario....it would eventually show up in WAR but not directly.

You would see a increase in the players sabermetric stat "Zone%" which tracks the # of pitches inside the strike zone.

Now the Zone% isn't gonna matter unless the player can maintain or improve his "Z-Swing%" (pitches inside the zone he swings at) and Z-Contact% (% of pitches in the zone he makes contact with).

If all the metrics follow each other than YES it would show up in WAR. If the Other 2 increase without the Zone% increasing then other players are not having a direct effect on the batter

bob gregory said...

So, the War increase will only eventually be seen in the surrounding hitters stats.
Not in Cespedes stats as Zozo was asking?

Zozo said...

Yeah was wondering if he (or someone similar)is in lineup if everyone else's WAR goes up as well as opposed to De Aza.

Zozo said...


Christopher Soto said...


Nope "presence" in a line-up can only indirect adjust other players WAR....not the batter's own.

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