The Morning Report 12.9.2015 | Zobrist Shuns Mets for Cubs, Daniel Murphy Market Set, Flores Breaks Ankle in Venezuela, Braves Trade Shelby Miller

Jay Jaffe Sports Illustrated- The Cubs enlivened a slow day at the Winter Meetings with a pair of moves that reconfigured their middle infield, added depth to their pitching staff and reunited manager Joe Maddon with perhaps his best player in Tampa Bay. First, they landed switch-hitting free agent Ben Zobrist via a four-year, $56 million deal, then they traded former All-Star shortstop Starlin Castro to the Yankees for swingman Adam Warren and utilityman Brendan Ryan.

(Chris Soto: Gotta tip your cap to the Cubs...despite not making the best offer, they made a better pitch to Zobrist and had his former coach Jon Maddon on the staff to entice him even more. Zobrist certainly has better numbers than Castro, but he is 10 yrs older than him. In addition, the return they received for Castro was not pretty bad considering he is cost controlled high end hitting SS.)

Maria Guardado | NJ Advance Media-  Now that Ben Zobrist has signed with the Chicago Cubs, the Mets must search for a Plan B. With a hole still left to fill at second base, the Mets will circle back to free agent Daniel Murphy, who turned down the club's one-year, $14 million qualifying offer last month. Like Zobrist, Murphy is a versatile player who can play first, second and third base. Having drafted and developed him, the Mets also know exactly what kind of player they'd be getting. However, Murphy is a below-average defensive second baseman and he is also prone to blunders on the base paths.

(Chris Soto: Zobrist's deal with the Cubs sets a benchmark for Murphy. If Zobrist is worth $14M per season than Murphy is likely to sign a deal for possibly the same amount of years at a $12M per season rate. This is a figure that I personally would be very comfortable giving Murphy to be my everyday 2B as well as my "Oh Shit" plan for 3B in case David Wright gets hurt again. One thing a lot of folks are overlooking is that Murphy worked heavily with Kevin Long this season to make a tweak to his swing in an effort to develop more power. As a result, Murphy posted the best "power" season of his career posting an ISO rate 33 points above his career average.)

Associated Press | Yahoo Sports-   Mets infielder Wilmer Flores broke his left ankle last month when he was hit by a pitch playing winter ball in Venezuela. Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said Tuesday at the winter meetings that Flores does not need surgery and is expected to be ready for spring training. Flores was injured in his season debut with the Bravos de Margarita in his home country. He took several days off then returned to the lineup for three games before being shut down for the winter. The Mets originally thought the injury a bruise but learned Tuesday it was a nondisplaced fracture.

(Chris Soto: Here is the danger with letting guys play in oversea Winter Leagues. The medical technology available to them is no where near what the Mets have sitting in Citi Field alone. Flores figured it was just a bruise and tried to gut it out. He even performed well in his 3 games back, but something still didn't feel right so he returned back to the States where an X-Ray was done and the fracture was found. It's certainly not too bad of an injury since it's non-displaced. It basically amounts to just a crack. He'll be fine in about 4-6 weeks.)

HOT STOVE REPORT (courtesy of mlbtraderumor.com)
  • The Braves fire sale continues. They traded RHSP Shelby Miller and minor league LHRP Gabe Speier to the Arizona Diamondbacks for 2015's 1st round pick and team #1 prospect SS Darby Swanson, #3 prospect RHSP Aaron Blair, and MLB OF Ender Inciarte. 
  • The LA Dodgers seem to be the most aggressive team trying to convince the Miami Marlins to trade RHSP Jose Fernandez. The club is now trying to involve a 3rd party to try and get the necessary second high level prospect they need to acquire Fernandez without having to give up SS Corey Seager.
  • The Mets have received offers for LHSP Jon Niese. According to Mike Puma, the club feels comfortable enough with Rafael Montero's health progress to use him in the #5 SP role in the event Niese is traded until Zack Wheeler is ready to return.
(Chris Soto: Boy....the Braves got a MASSIVE haul for Miller. There was no way I could have expected he would fetch that kind of price considering his advanced metrics, mainly FIP, were not in agreement with his solidly low 3.02 ERA from 2015. The Miller deal should be a good barometer for what the Mets could get should they decide to trade a healthy Zack Wheeler.)


Anonymous said...

Not sure where you got the info on the Cubs making "not the best offer." According to Delcos, the Mets came in "around 50."

Are you suggesting that the Mets offered more money than the Cubs? Just curious, because I haven't seen that reported anywhere.

James Preller

Christopher Soto said...

I've been hearing the Mets offered 4yr/$60M

Can you link to the Delcos Report? I have not come across that one.

Zozo said...

Thank God they didn't get older by getting Zobrist. Now say no to Murphy, we have Flores that can play second and also Third for Wright when he goes down.
We saw what The Braves got for Miller, now see what Harvey can get from either SF or LAD. How about Urias, DeLeon and Pedersen.

Kevin S said...

I think the attention now turns to Ian Desmond for a deal similar to Zobrist's with Herrera at 2B and Flores getting plenty of time between 3B, 2B & SS.

I can't think of a contending team that is a best fit for Desmond than the Mets. Most other contenders have a real SS. Maybe Colorado or the White Sox offer the most money but the Mets are the most logical destination for him.

Tom Brennan said...

Bring on Plan B. And Plan C at the same time...Cespedes.

IBfromWhitePlains said...

Re. Zobrist. I can't recall a potential Met signing with more hype and slmost no real appeal. I agree with many of the commenters here; Mets need a big bat to hit in the middle of an order that should produce 5 players with 15-20 homers. That's a lineup.

And, back to my yearly plaint. Bench, bench, bench. Resign Urube and Johnson.

Question: What do you think about outfield free agent De Aza as a platoon for Lagares? Decent splits against RP. Very good speed. A few years back he looked like a potential star. I don't know anything about his D.

Mack Ade said...

Kevin -

I have my thoughts on yesterday coming up at 10am.

The Flores break seems minimal... what about a cheap alternative with Drew?

bgreg98180 said...

No Drew....his days are well behind him.

Robb said...

Id like to commend the yankees for making a great trade (a steal) and screwing the Mets in the process. Credit where credit is due.

I think we all have to look at the value of prospcts and reevalue what they are actually worth. Thats what shelby Miller cost, i would have thought that would be more on par with Fernandez, geez.

That being said, the diamondbacks should be very good next year.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kevin
But id also like to see Flores with a 1st base glove aswell as 3rd ss and 2b.
Spend the money on desmond 4/60
They should have enough to offer Cespedes 5/110

Zozo said...

I don't think they screwed us, but helped us. Let the Cubs have the old man. Flores and Herrera will be as good at 2nd as he is.
I have been thinking about Rollins on a 1 year deal, even though he was a thorn in our side for many years. I believe he could fit in pretty well for a year?

Christopher Soto said...

Why do we feel like the Yankees screwed us?

Wilmer Flores outperformed Starlin Castro last season.

Castro was so bad that he lost his job to Addison Russell and ended up on the bench until an injury opened up 2B for him to get back into the starting rotation.

Mack Ade said...

All -

Health is so important in having the prospect pieces that would be needed to create the trades that would fill the holes.

Try to imagine the value of Rafael Montero would be right now if both he and Zack Wheeler never got hurt and both played well last year?

bgreg98180 said...

That is where free agency comes into play.

Mack Ade said...

Chris -

If the Mets go with Flores on SS, Herrera on 2B, and Tejada as utility middle infieder, who do you speculate as the 3 and 4 hitter?

Conforto and Duda?

bgreg98180 said...

Duda failed last year in that position.

What is the saying about doing the same thing expecting a different result?

(Mack you baited me so i had to make a comment when you mentioned 3rd & 4th place hitters)

Tom Brennan said...

No Drew. Sign Kelly Johnson as a frequent utility guy, and start Herrera?

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

No, I'm glad you chimed in. I've come to believe your 3rd and 4th hitter theory as correct.

As of right now, the lineup stacks up: Granderson, Wright, Conforto, Duda, d'Arnaud, Flores, Herrera, pitcher Lagares

Mets Lite?

Christopher Soto said...


I am in Bob's corner about the team needed to add a middle of the order bat.

Personally though, I want a guy who can just flat out hit. I don't care if they 50 HR power.....

Just get me a guy who can slash a .300 - .330 batting average. with 20 or so bombs and I'll be in heaven

bgreg98180 said...

exactly the type of player I have been "raving" on and on about..

good contact, high average, and low strikeouts.

Closest free agent: Cespedes? more???

Closest trade targets: Votto? Frazier??

Christopher Soto said...

Mets and Pirates working on a trade.....

Jon Niese for Neil Walker is the general premise of the deal.

Tom Brennan said...

Interested in what you guys think of Neil Walker

bgreg98180 said...

Jon Niese for Neil Walker = waste of Met resource

bgreg98180 said...

I apologize...I am sorry (I am saying this ahead of time knowing there is alot of time...blah blah blah)

Given the only indications available the Mets front office have provided as to what appears to be the focus of their off season....

The Met front office is either
1) living in a fairy tale land where all of their current players will have offensive years comparable to their best possible or average best

2) Going into the season with a plan that depends on the Nationals and every other team in their division to hand them the division again.

3) Have no idea of how to create a balanced team

4) have had their heads surgically transplanted inside of their own colons

Stubby said...

Once again, you can't really compare the deals for Zobrist and Murphy, since the cost of signing Murphy is going to include a draft pick (for anyone other than the Mets, at least). If your point is that he's as good as Zobrist, younger, and well worth the Mets signing for a few grand a year less than Zobrist, I agree. But I actually think 12 mil per might be over market for Murph (given the draft pick). Unfortunately, the Mets decided more than a year ago that Murphy was not part of their plans going forward and I don't see them admitting that they're wrong about that, even if they are. My nightmare scenario is Murph to the Dodgers where both he and Turner beat the holy heck out of us every time we see them. Should have kept Turner. Should keep Murohy. It ain't sexy, but it would be the right thing to do for the team.

Christopher Soto said...

Neil Walker = Daniel Murphy + more K's - 10 points of AVG + more power

Christopher Soto said...

Pirates are close to pulling the trigger on a Neil Walker for Niese swap

Zozo said...


Zozo said...

I agree