Reese Kaplan -- Trade Deadline Stagnation

As the trade deadline approaches the Mets are apparently seeking bullpen help.  After Jeurys Familia, Addison Reed, Hansel Robles and Jerry Blevins, the remainder of the warm bodies tested out there have had mixed results at best.  This announcement is somewhat surprising as they are apparently content to live with Logan Verrett as the 5th starter despite his 5.23 ERA, 18 Ks and 15 BBs (along with 32 hits) over 31 IP. 

Then again, in 2015 the team was struggling mightily to score runs but after the addition of bench pieces Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, the first acquisition made was Tyler Clippard (followed soon by Addison Reed and the ill-fated trial of Eric O’Flaherty).  Yoenis Cespedes, of course, eventually came to fortify the offense. 

This year the rumor about Jonathon Lucroy was interesting as he is indeed a solid bat, but when I floated the idea of approaching the Brewers about him earlier when Kevin Plawecki was getting the lion’s share of the ABs, nothing was done.  Still, he’s not going to add a Cespedes-like charge to the offense. 

We’ve all heard the rumors about various bullpen arms who might be acquired.  I have a few thoughts about quality pitchers they might have considered:

There’s one middle reliever to consider who has a 1-2 record, but a nice 3.05 ERA and a very impressive 0.992 WHIP over 33 games.  There’s another rubber armed pitcher who is 2-1 with a 2.90 ERA over 43 games.  Then there’s a third off to a fast 16 game start with a 3-1 record, 3.00 ERA and a terrific 1.067 WHIP.  All three of these players were once NY Mets and sacrificed for absolutely nothing in return. 

The first pitcher is the St. Louis Cardinals’ Matt Bowman unprotected in the Rule V draft after a minor league career in which his worst year prior to 2015 was a 3.22 ERA.  He hit the usual wall in Las Vegas and the Mets foolishly decided to put him up for grabs. 

The second pitcher was a surprising cut by the Mets – Carlos Torres – who turned in two excellent years for the Mets followed by one poor one.  He was cut loose probably more in fear of what he might earn than due to that one outlier season.  He did nearly double his pay to the $950K range this year but he’s certainly earning it. 

The third pitcher was a result of a bump from the 40-man roster when barely given an opportunity to show what he could do at the major league level despite some pretty gaudy minor league numbers.  Dario Alvarez was DFA’d and the Braves astutely picked him up.  He’s rewarded their faith quite nicely through his first 16 games.  The Mets gave him a whopping 5 innings combined over 2 seasons and declared him a failure. 

Lest we be too harsh on Sandy Alderson, when he tired of some proven mediocrities and cut them loose – Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Ruben Tejada, Anthony Recker, Eric Young, Jr., and Juan Uribe – none have come back to haunt the club.  In fact, one might even question why the Mets were enamored with them as long as they were. 

Oddly, for a club that eschewed the free agent marketplace for a long time as a way of filling roster vacancies, the 2016 club is mostly comprised of a great many free agent acquisitions.  This year saw Jim Henderson, Asdrubal Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Alejandro De Aza, Yoenis Cespedes, Antonio Bastardo, Jerry Blevins and Jose Reyes all come to the Mets by them choosing simply to go for the money.  James Loney was a cash transaction and no resources were sacrificed in that deal either.

In fact, the only trades that Alderson has made are the Pittsburgh Pirates deal sending Jonathon Niese for Neil Walker – edge to the Mets – and the very silly Braves trade sending Akeel Morris for former 2015 Met Kelly Johnson.  Granted, with a .250 average as a Met last year, he didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but you sacrificed a quality arm who thus far in the Braves system is 3-0 with a 3.12 ERA and 22 Ks in 17.1 IP.  You could have had Johnson for dollars alone.  Now you pay him the dollars and lost a prospect to reacquire him.  That’s a clunker of a deal (though not quite as bad as the Alejandro De Aza or Antonio Bastardo disasters). 

Today the Mets said the Lucroy deal is off the table but relievers are still on their radar.  I guess there will be plenty of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 losses for the remainder of the year.  At least they will have battled.  


Thomas Brennan said...

We traded away a boatload of pitching last year, and let others go, as you note with Torres, Bowman and Alvarez (WHO HAS 28 K'S IN 15 INNINGS WITH BRAVES!!!!!!!!)

Fulmer superb, Cessa likely a major league starter by next year, Whelan doing great and now in AAA, Wieck is annihilating guys in San Diego minors, Gant has more than a K per inning in AAA and majors this year. I'm sure I am forgetting a few.

By the way, Yanks trade for Chapman, giving up almost nothing, delighting their fans, keeping them in hailing distance of playoffs AND YANKS GET CUBS BEST PROSPECT FOR HIM....AND THE METS DID NOT TRY TO TRADE FOR HIM INSTEAD OF THE YANKS BECAUSE????????

If the Mets had gotten him, they'd have won at least a few more games and have the best pen around going into the playoffs. And more fan excitement to help forget the woeful clutch hitting. Instead, Mets potential playoff adversary Cubs get him. Just like we let Nats get Murphy. Jackasses.

Reese Kaplan said...

but...but...but...we got KELLY JOHNSON...and Jose Reyes...and James Loney...All-Stars, wait, no...always about half way to what is needed.

Never fear...there will be some reliever with a 4.00 ERA here to save the day any moment now...that'll help score runs for sure.

Thomas Brennan said...

No doubt - and now Reyes is out presumably for a few days due to a strain. Flores time.

Reese Kaplan said...

Unless Skipper thinks it's Kelly Johnson time...

Gary Seagren said...

Wait where's Frank Francisco? Probably still rehabbing in Port St. Lucie. Look it's no secret that since the Madoff mess their not spending $$$ and let's face it if YC hadn't literally been dropped in our lap ....TWICE....we would be having a very different conversation right now. I guess being in the WC race will have to do for now and given all the problems we've faced it's not the end of the world but I hate not being able to compete the way we should because of financial restrictions or that's what were told. How are we supposed to compete when every possible transaction is more about dollars spent than a players ability.

Adam Smith said...

Let's hope that Flores can get some hits this week vs RHP and force his way into the lineup by the time Reyes comes back. Walker has been abysmal, and even though he's a somewhat better defender than Flores, I have no doubt that Wilmer would be doing more for us offensively at 2B.

A big issue for this team is that this was probably going to be the offseason that we traded Harvey for at least two young bats. Now that's off the table as an option.

Thomas Brennan said...

Yanks sign Chapman, flip him for a major prospect.

Wheeler has TJ surgery in Feb 2015(?) and normally would have been available for the start of the season, but because he wasn't we kept Harvey, who could have gotten the Mets a boatload last off season. Now, Adam, you're right, Matt has little or no trade value - and we can't flip him for a bag of chips.

Thomas Brennan said...

Adam, Neil Walker after his great April/May: in June/July, .186 in 145 at bats, 5 extra base hits. He's caught de Aza Syndrome.

Thomas Brennan said...

de Aza and Lagares have 14 RBIs in 253 official at bats, 24 runs scored. COME ON!

Anthony Carnacchio said...

Chapman was traded for, not signed.

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