The Morning Report 12.7.2015 | Jon Niese on the Trade Block, Mets Focusing In on RP Market, Flores Pulled from Winter Leagues, Hot Stove Heating Up


Brian Devine Metsmerized Online- While the Mets have no intention of trading any of their top pitchers this offseason, one starter they’ll consider dealing is Jon Niese if something interesting were to materialize.“We haven’t been actively shopping Niese, but other than the four guys, we’re going to be looking for ways to improve the team,” Assistant GM Ricco said. “If there’s a deal that involves him and makes us better, I think we would definitely consider it.” 

(Chris Soto: Jon Niese has been a solid cog in the Mets rotation for a few years now and he's on a team friendly contract, but the fact is, that with these young arms that are here now, he's the 5th best SP on the roster. That doesn't hold much value to the team which makes him very tradeable. He could certainly be a solid #4 guy in another team's rotation that is looking for a left handed SP.)

Adam Rubin | ESPN New York- The reported signings of relievers Darren O’Day and Ryan Madson have little bearing on the New York Mets' winter bullpen activity, assistant GM John Ricco said Sunday. “We didn’t see ourselves playing in that top end where O’Day was, But, I think that next tier, we’re going to be keeping an eye on. We’re going to meet with a lot of the representatives for the relievers here over the next couple of days. If they start to go away, that could affect us.”

(Chris Soto: It is never wise to lock up a chunk of your annual payroll in the bullpen. Guys performance can vary far too greatly from year to year. The O'Days and Millers of the world.....sure they are consistently solid pieces....but they are just 1 man. An effective bullpen has 3-4 guys that you can heavily lean on to perform admirable week in and week out. $12M per season is better spent across 4 above average RP than it is across 1 GREAT RP and 3 average to below average league minimum guys.)

Maria Guardado | NJ Advance Media-  Mets infielder Wilmer Flores will likely miss the rest of winter ball after suffering an ankle injury on a hit by pitch. Assistant general manager John Ricco said Sunday that Flores was diagnosed with a left ankle contusion and will likely refrain from further competition as a precautionary measure. "I think the last thing I saw, he was probably going to shut it down and not risk anything further," Ricco said. "There's a chance we fly him to New York and just have him checked out to make sure completely. Wilmer has, in the past, come and worked out in Florida with Mike Barwis and that group. I expect he'll do that again this January.

(Chris Soto: Quite unfortunate for Flores. He was looking to really get some more work in around the diamond in an effort to show the Mets that no matter where they put him, that his bat should remain in the starting line-up no matter what. Now he is going to be at the mercy of whatever off-season moves the Mets make. Flores can very easily find himself riding the pine for most of April until an injury occurs somewhere.)

HOT STOVE REPORT (courtesy of mlbtraderumor.com)
  • While the Mets aren't really dabbling in the SP market,  A ton of names signed over the weekend. 
    • RHP Zack Grienke signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks for 6yrs/$34.42M per season.
    • RHP Jeff Samardzija signed with San Francisco for 5 yrs/$18M per season
    • RHP Hisashi Iwakuma signed with Los Angeles for 3 yrs/(unknown $)
  • After failing to bring back Grienke, the Dodgers are now in trade talks with the Miami Marlins to possibly acquire RHP Jose Fernandez. Talks are not yet serious as the asking price is said to be ENORMOUS.
  • The Mets are rumored to have some "lukewarm" interest in Pittsburgh 2B Neil Walker as a guy who could provide solid value but not cost too much via trade. The 29 yr old 2B hit .269 last season with 16 HR and 71 RBI while posting -2 DRS at 2B.
  • The club also continues to have heavy interest in bringing back LHRP Jerry Blevins as their primary LOOGY as well as RHP Bartolo Colon as their swingman. Both players have expressed interest in returning to the Mets as well.

(Chris Soto: Man...the dollars being shelled out to free agent SPs is just ridiculous. Grienke is now the highest paid player in the MLB coming off of 1 GREAT season.....count it....1! Is he a solid SP?.....of course.....but is he the best SP on the planet? Heck no....his FIP was a full run better than his ERA. No SP in the MLB should be making more money than Clayton Kershaw's $30M valuation cause HE is the best SP on the planet right now. That said, good job by the Diamondbacks grabbing a front-line SP. They came into the off-season as a darkhorse to become better and be a solid team in 2016. They already have a Top 5 offense and good young SP developing. They just needed an Ace at the top to lead the young guys to the promise land. Grienke can certainly do that.)


Ernest Dove said...

Jose Fernandez would EASILY offset that Dodgers loss of grienke.......wow.....must be nice to be fans of a big market team ;)

Tom Brennan said...

Samardija contact is obscene. So is Greinkes and so is Price's. Koufax as is still alive, and still must be turning over in his grave. He was born at the wrong time.

Running a baseball team is like playing high stakes poker these days.

eraff said...

Ticket Prices...Free Stadiums..Parking...Beer and a Dog... it's all obscene

Ernest Dove said...

Hey eraff
Thats why I just go to tradition field every year for some A ball action ;)
$8 tickets right behind the duggout, free parking and Thursdays are $1 hotdog and $1 soda night..... BOOM.....

Mack Ade said...

The 'obscene' contracts out their for starting pitching are something the Mets won't have to worry about for a few years, but they too are going to have to pay big bucks someday to retain the serviced of these kids.

I', going to sit back and se what the winter meetings brings forward for the Mets (if anything)

Dallas said...

I think one of the most obscene contracts was Pelfrey. $16 million for 2 years? In his 3 years with Minnesota he was 0.4 WAR total. His WHIP was 1.55, 1.99, 1.48. If he can get that kind of money, then Niese is pretty valuable.

As for the elite RP, sure it might be better to spread the money around more of them for the regular season but when it comes to the post season they seem to play a much bigger part of the success. Are the Mets going to be challenged this year for another post season berth? Maybe Washington gets its act together but I dont see the Braves/Phillies/Marlins posing much of a threat. My point is that they should have spent the 7-8 mill a year to lockdown the game and have insurance on Familia getting hurt unless you think Mejia is that guy.

Mack Ade said...

Dallas -

Pen wise, I look ahead to when Wheeler comes back and Niese, Montero, and Mejia could all join in.

Christopher Soto said...

Winter Meetings have officially begun!

Dodgers acquire CL Aroldis Chapman for 2 minor league prospects. No word on who the prospects are.

Metsiac said...

One guy who caught my eye last season that I see as a potential breakout RP is Hansel Robles. Maybe not by OD, but in the near future I see him as at least a solid setup guy.Any other opinions here?

Robb said...

Started thinking about it, I would trade, based on the Fernandez talks with the dodgers.

harvey and flores, for seager, de Leon, Holmes

it would hurt bad, but it could be so good.

bgreg98180 said...

Nobody else is disgusted by Ricco's comments yesterday that made it clear the Mets are not interested in pursuing a more reliable and productive 3rd or 4th place hitter?

This is a foolish decision.

Tom Brennan said...

@ Bob - I too am disgusted. Get Zobrist, OK, but get Cespedes too. No excuses. I asked my brother for his take on Chapman to Dodgers, Fernandez being looked at by Dodgers, and Mets unwillingness to slam dunk the East with a Cespedes signing. He gave me the answer he's given (as a Mets fan) so many times over the years: METS SUCK. He does not pontificate!

@ Metsiac - once Robles cuts down on his propensity of giving up meatball-pitch homers, he will be really good. Maybe he takes that step this year. I like him?

Christopher Soto said...


I don't think Ricco specifically said that....all he said is that at Cespedes current asking price, the Mets are not interested in him.

Who's to say that the Mets aren't pursuing another bat that could slot in as a 3rd or 4th in the order bat? Quite the twisting of words your doing.

bgreg98180 said...


Ricco mentioned not being in the market for an every day OF.
Ricco mentioned that Zobrist was the big target.

If not in the outfield, What position will the 3rd or 4th place hitter come from?

3rd and Catcher are ruled out because or D'Arnaud & Wright.

SS and 2nd base is very limited in 3rd & 4th place potential hitters and would require a heck of a trade.

Outfield was ruled out as mentioned above.

That leaves 1st base as the only possibility that would require a trade.

Seems to me, much more efficient to leave the possibility/probability of acquiring a 3rd/4th place hitting outfielder open.

Mack Ade said...

Metsiac -

I don't remember too many times that the Mets release someone and then bring them back via a minor league contract.

My guess is Black is history.

Metsiac said...

They're talking of doing just that with Blevins. Black's injury was less severe, of course, but it did impact his pitching.

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