Mets Trade Reliever Akeel Morris for Kelly Johnson

So the Mets decide the cure to their offensive woes is to pick up a career .250 hitter who is hitting .215 this year?  To acquire him, they gave up a guy who had seemingly hit a wall in AA after dominating at the lower levels.  My initial take was it was an overpay but now I'm more concerned that the acquisition of Johnson probably means that they feel Ty Kelly and Matt Reynolds are not capable of hitting .215.

The thinking is probably that they need help at both corners.  The fact he's left handed means a possible platoon with Wilmer Flores.  James Loney is left handed, so there's nothing to be gained there.  However, the greater need is outfield with Juan Lagares' thumb and Yoenis Cespedes' hip (not to mentioned the prolonged slumps for Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto).

It's a "meh" move which doesn't seem to have much upside and did cost you one trading chip (albeit a mediocre one) that could have been used as part of a package to land someone more impactful.  There's no 40-man roster impact with Morris already on it.  Kelly simply takes his place.  That means no Travis Taijeron and no TJ Rivera coming anytime soon.


Tom Brennan said...

I am OK with the Morris - Johnson trade. Had to do something, and it is possible that Mateo, Peterson, or Taylor may have been passing Akeel on the reliever depth chart, and Sewald (despite a very uncharacteristic stretch of ineffectiveness in AAA) presumably was ahead of Akeel.

The comatose offense needs something.

Tom Brennan said...

Who goes down to make room for Johnson? Reynolds? Kelly?

If Lagares goes on DL, do we see Rivera or Taijeron, or just recall whichever of Kelly and Reynolds that gets sent down?

Reese Kaplan said...

Rivera and Taijeron promotions are but pipe dreams as the 40-man roster is full. Unless they shift Wright and/or Duda to the 60-day DL, they will be filling up at the buffets in Sin City.

My guess is Kelly is the odd-man out because he's also left handed and does essentially the same things as Johnson. Reynolds is a better glove man and right handed.

Anonymous said...

Mets have the worst right fielder's in baseball. Their arms are so weak they should kick the ball instead.

That Adam Smith said...

Granderson's time is coming. Unfortunately, given his salary, I'm guessing they won't sit him until sometime next season.

Tom Brennan said...

Right on cue, Ty Kelly hits a long first major league homer. Maybe he stays and Reynolds goes.

Tom Brennan said...

Today may be draft day, but one of our prior draftees just got promoted to AAA - Rob Gsellman.

A nice write up on Gsellman and Seth Lugo by Betsy Helfand of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

My thoughts: Gsellman gets moved to a team scoring nearly 2 runs more per game than Binghamton, which he has to love, as he has gotten very little offensive support, but now faces the challenge of pitching successfully in the PCL, while Seth Lugo hopes to follow some of the success of Jeurys Familia, who was also a hard-throwing but weak starter, and in his case turned into a bullpen ace. Now the article:

The Mets promoted a top pitching prospect, Robert Gsellman, to Triple-A on Wednesday.

Manager Wally Backman expects Gsellman, the organization’s No. 12 prospect per MLB.com, to make his 51s debut on Saturday on the road against the Albuquerque Isotopes.

Gsellman will start in place of Seth Lugo, who will be moving to the bullpen. In 11 starts at Double-A Binghamton this season, Gsellman was 3-4 with a 2.71 ERA.

Backman said he saw him pitch in spring training a few times and that he liked what he saw.

“He’s a sinker-slider type of guy with a changeup, but he’s got a hard sink. His velocity’s pretty good,” Backman said. “He’s a real competitor, fields his position well, holds runners well, does all the things outside of pitching.”

Gsellman’s last three outings have all been quality starts, and he hasn’t given up more than three runs in a game this season.
After starting 16 games at AA Binghamton last year, Backman said there was a small chance Gsellman would break camp with the 51s, but the Mets wanted him to make a few more starts there before a promotion.

Las Vegas ace Gabriel Ynoa started 35 games with Binghamton and Backman said the Mets wanted Gsellman’s path to be similar to that.

“(They) wanted to get Gsellman to the same point before they promoted him barring no injury and with him having success, of course,” Backman said. “He’s gotten to the point where it’s time for him to move.”

The move leaves Lugo as the odd man out of the rotation. To make room for Gsellman on the roster and Lugo in the bullpen, reliever Stolmy Pimentel was released. Pimentel was 0-4 with a 10.45 ERA in 14 games and five starts with the 51s this season. Pimentel was occasionally called upon to make spot starts, a role Lugo could inherit if needed.

Lugo is 3-3 with a 7.28 ERA in 11 starts this season. He has the ability to hit mid-90s on the radar gun and Backman said the move to the bullpen would give him an opportunity to show his arm strength.
“It’s a good move for him, I think, and he thinks it’s a good move for him, as well, from what he said to me,” Backman said.

Backman said there was talk Lugo might break camp out of the bullpen, though he had primarily been a starter during his minor league career.

“I think with the promotion of Gsellmen, to put Lugo in the bullpen, it makes us a better team, and I think it gives Lugo a better opportunity to show what he’s capable of doing out of the bullpen,” Backman said.

Buddy3 said...

Gant, Whalen and Morris for two stints of Kelly Johnson and a half season of Juan Uribe. Kelly Johnson is a good fit, but Morris was put on the 40 man roster out of Low A because of his potential and now he is expendable for a 4 month rental that we could have signed in the off-season?

Looks like the Braves are fleecing us the way we fleece the Pirates.

Morris will not help this year and maybe not next, but still?????

Tom Brennan said...

I read that Morris has a stiff-legged delivery and could be injury prone, but I agree that a little more foresight in retaining Kelly Johnson could have saved Morris. Most of the pitchers they let go in trades (with the obvious exception of Fulmer) have not done well this year.

IB said...

A "meh" move? So far Alderson has replaced a AAA 1st baseman with Loney for cash and got a guy who was invaluable off the bench last year for an A ball pitcher in a pitcher rich farm system. These were the kind of in season moves Alderson made last year (cheaper this year) that got this team over the top.

Let's see, Campbell vs. Loney.....Kelly/Reynolds vs Johnson. No brainers.

I thought they should have signed Johnson in the off season. Uribe too.

Tom Brennan said...

IB, can't argue with you on Johnson and Uribe.

Tom Brennan said...
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Unknown said...

This may sound overly simplistic from an old Met fan but can someone please explain to me why Kelly Johnson and not TJ Rivera? Can they still be using that old 40 man roster excuse. It's like discussing the "we're better off" w/o Murphy because we got the draft pick which I don't get. He was a solid hitter before the playoffs began then and reached another level along with losing him to our top rival and no one's going to tell me a team coming off a WS appearance couldn't handle his chump change contract and we could have gotten a much better deal for Lucas coming off last year than we'll get at the end of this year. He could've been the leadoff hitter we haven't had since Reyes left. The upside now is considering how shorthanded the Front office has left us we've been hanging in there but for how much longer no one knows.

Tom Brennan said...

Gary, my guess is thet. Put high value on experience and prior success. Almost every guy they brought up over the past 2 years sputtered badly. You and I think TJ would hit, and if they were not in a pennant race, like Atlanta isn't, he'd be called up in a heartbeat

Hobie said...

Wow. 1,2,3,4 and no Puk or Groome!

eraff said...

Johnson's Acquisition Means you now have 23 major league ball players---- your TJ Dreams may eventually come true because #24 and #25 are still needed!

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