Mack – Early Moves, Qualifying Offers, Jose Bautista, Trump and International Draft, Matt Harvey

Mack – Early Moves, Qualifying Offers, Jose Bautista, Trump and International Draft, Matt Harvey

photo by Mack Ade 

The Mets have exercised the option on the contracts of OF Jay Bruce and IF Jose Reyes. They declined the option on P Jonathan Niese and have allowed 2B Neil Walker, P Jerry Blevins, P Bartolo Colon, P Fernando Sales, P Jim Henderson, 1B James Loney, OF Alejandro De Aza, OF Justin Ruggiano, IF Kelly Johnson, and IF Eric Campbell to declare free agency.

          Mack – This is a reduction of over 25% of the players on the 40-man squad.

          I expect a handful of these players to come back to the Mets this season. My hopes are to see Colon, Blevins, Salas, and Johnson.

Speculation is that ‘Josh Twins’ (Edgin and Smoker) will be the primary lefties coming out the pen, along with a new primary left handed pitcher. This could possibly end any future association with Blevins.

Sales was one of the best Mets trades in years (for minor leaguer Erik Manoah: A-ball, 6.00 … Sales-Mets: 17-G, 2.08)

This leaves the 40-man roster as follows –

          Total - 33

Pitchers (15) – deGrom, Edgin, Familia, Gilmartin, Harvey, Lugo, Matz, Montero, Reed, Robles, Smoker, Syndergaard, Verrett, Wheeler, Ynoa

Catchers (3) – d’Arnaud, Rivera, Plawecki

Infielders (8) - Cabrera, Cecchini, Duda, Flores, Reyes, Reynolds, Rivera, Wright

Outfielders (6) - Bruce,  Conforto, Granderson, Kelly, Lagares, Nimmo

That’s 8 openings

        My guess is that P Paul Sewald, P Ricky Knapp, C Tomas Nido, and OF Wuilmer Becerra, and IF Amed Rosario will be added to the 40-man rather than be lost in the Rule 5 draft.

        Both Logan Verrett and Sean Gilmartin could easily find themselves dropped from the 40-man, so you the net after all these moves could be 5 slots open.

The Mets will make a $17.2mil qualifying offer to both OF Yoenes Cespedes and 2B Neil Walker.

        Don’t get excited about the Cespedes offer. It’s so low based his talent that he might even be offended by the offer. What it does do is guarantee the Mets a draft pick if Yo decided to go. I expect the Dodgers to be the team that secures his long term services (another one year opt out?).

        And yet, then there is the article last night by Rich Mancuso (https://www.nysportsday.com/2016/11/09/mancuso-sources-say-mets-in-drivers-seat-for-yoenis-cespedes/) that say that the Mets are in the ‘driver’s seat’ for Cespedes.

        The Walker is much more doable. Let’s remember… he is coming off a back injury and, though it wasn’t considered a serious injury, it does raise some questions to teams that might have made him a multi- year offer if he remained healthy during a wonderful 2016 he played for the Mets.

        Will the Mets strike out here with another second baseman flying the coop?

The Mets inquire about the services of free agent OF Jose Bautista.

        An interesting option; however, at 36, and coming off injuries, I’m not sure if this would be the best ‘bat choice’ to replace Yoesnes Cespedes.

        For the record, he did have 22-HR and 69-RBIs this past season in 423 at-bats.

        The Mets, nor Bautista, will ever be able to bring back 2010 (54-HR, 124-RBI). Still, it’s an option to consider, especially when you stick him in the lineup in between Granderson, Wright, Bruce, Duda, and Conforto.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfield on President-elect Trump and the planned changes in baseball’s international draft –

        ''Haven't heard anything with respect to the Cuba issue that would suggest that there's going to be any change, and I think we're all familiar with things he said about Mexico. I think we need to wait and see what actually happens. It's been an interesting couple of weeks. Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. Donald Trump got elected president. Pretty interesting all the way around. So here we are.''  http://sports.yahoo.com/news/manfred-trump-not-impact-mlb-international-plans-211011195--mlb.html

        Mack – The federal government is not going to build a wall around this process. Baseball will have a difficult time as it is getting this process reformed and there isn’t a simple solution for the 16-years old Latin players that could be signed and turned pro in the past. You can’t include them in a combined draft with the USA and then deny a 16-year old from America the same process. And you especially can’t ask America’s youth to quit high school and go play rookie ball in plays like, ironically, the Dominican Republic.

        The Donald has bigger fish to fry than this catfish.

Super agent Scott Boras says he expects Mets pitcher Matt Harvey to be at 100% come spring training –

        Boras - "I just saw him in New York. He's throwing free and easy. He's strong. He's had a great deal of time to work out and focus on his body and strength. We expect him to come back and be the Matt Harvey of old.''

        Mack – Doesn’t Boras say this every off-season?

        Nobody is more disappointed in Harvey’s 2016 (4-10, 4.86, 1.47) than I am, and no Mets pitcher gets less support from the rest of the starters (82 professional starts, only 57 decisions). But let’s look deeper at the stats he has compiled over his 4 year Mets career –

                  82-games, 82-starts, 29-28, 2.94, 1.08, 520-IP, 525-K, 119-BB, 9.09-K9

        This may not be SP1 type numbers, but it does fit in nicely in between Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom.

        It also, if Harvey could remain and pitch healthy, set up a perfect wave of creating a trade of Harvey around the all-star break that could bring the Mets two quality long term players.


Zozo said...

I don't mind Walker leaving, but I wish they didn't gamble that $17 million dollar on him. I think he might take it and we have plenty of capable 2nd basemen to take over for him. So that would be wasted roster money.

Instead of gambling that $17 on gaining a late pick in next years draft, why not have just went over slot that same $17 in the international draft and picked up 4-5 of the top players in that draft instead?

If we can't sign Cespedes I think we should make this teams offense emulate the 85 cardinals team that was built on speed and defense, not homeruns. I believe that would me more productive for our ball park. So sign Fowler and Gomez and trade away at least one (if not both) of Granderson and Bruce...

Mack Ade said...

Zozo -

The problem with trades is you have to find another team that wants to pay the guys you don't want any longer on your team. This could easily come into play for the services of both Duda and Granderson.

As for Bruce, there would be plenty of teams that love him hitting home runs over their fences (Colorado?).

As for the International draft, the Alderson administration has never been keen in this area and I don't expect them to change this year during all this mess.

Tom Brennan said...

Your article dovetails well with my Rule 5 article the other day - yours is what 40 man roster openings can we shield guys from Rule 5, mine was who to add to 40 man to avoid Rule 5?

to your list of guys, I would recommend also adding Phil Evans, Kevin McGowan, and Andrew Barbosa. I'd also, as you suggest, let Verrett go and add Molina on the list, in the small chance some team would want to take a flyer on him. Verrett likely would not be drafted and would return to AAA.

Sign Cespedes, forget Bautista - if he were a little younger, sure.

Reese Kaplan said...

Montero's spot is on thin ice, too.

Mack Ade said...

Tom/Reese -

You both might be right about your additional choices.

I sure wish I could look into a crystal ball re: Barbosa and Evans...

Anonymous said...

When it comes to Walker and you compare the numbers you find Flores numbers not that far away from those of Walker for a mere 600/700k?
Walker 23 hrs and 55 rbi's (from memory) in about 458 at bats?

Flores 16 hrs and 49 rbi's in 335 at bats? TJ did a very good job also.

My point is, there are in-house replacements for Walker. I am not trying to say that Flores or TJ are better players but if you are saving over 16M that you can use to better the BP or bringing Cespedes back, isn't that a better option?

When it comes to the outfield, either Granderson or Bruce have to be traded regardless of whether of not Cespedes comes back. You simply have to open up a spot for Conforto/Lagares to get at bats. You cannot let these guys rut on the bench, cannot.

I am on the position that you let Bartolo walk simply because there are again, internal options that will not give you the same innings but it saves a spot where you can protect another youngster from Rule V draft. Give this spot to Gsellman. Bartolo is not going to want to come back to be in the BP anyway.

Mets need to get younger, faster and hungrier. That can be accomplished by player younger players with lots of energy.

Reese Kaplan said...

@Anonymous -- many good points here, but remember who the manager is. A veteran who doesn't get the job done then "We just need to get him going." A rookie takes an 0-fer or pitches a bad game and he gets buried.

Mack Ade said...

Anon -

I understand your thoughts and can see how close Flores/Murphy comes to the Walker numbers, but we live in a baseball world where all three of these players will not play 2017 injury free.

Same with the outfield and SPs.

As for Granderson, I say again... you find a GM somewhere that will take this contract off my hands and you have a deal!

Unknown said...

I don't know if Walker hadn't gotten hurt he hits what maybe 26-30 HR's I think it's worth it to QO him and along with Bruce and Grandy their insurance against Cespedes leaving. Now if this doesn't all come together next season were not committed after this year and we can blow it up and go youth next year and if Walker has a good year we offer a QO to him and get a draft pick as he will surely get a longer term deal.

Eddie Corona said...

With walker I think he may be next all over the INF... I think he will move to 3B if / when wright goes down, and 1B too... I believe if he is back it mean Duda will go...

Mack Ade said...

Gary -

You have written what I have said for many years and know that I have never let the amount of money it would take to keep a talented player get in the way of me building 'my team'. I have been part of too many seasons since the Martinez/Beltran years where Mets fans dreams were squashed due to poor payrolls.

My hopes is the Walker QO leads to a Mets three year offer so we can stop worrying about this position for the remainder of this decade.

Mack Ade said...

Eddie -

As for Walker, you just don't give up on this kind of talent.

(BTW... is there a Corona article sighting?)

Eddie Corona said...

Mack I don't think you give up on it but to speak about the Mets Roster and not have a understanding of the Mets Payroll and its impact is just fantasy baseball talk... I want the mets to build a roster without payroll restrictions like the Yankees, dodgers, Red sox and cubs... Heck even like the Cardinals... but the sad truth is the Wilpons are cheap (i cannot even use the word frugal)... the worse thing that happen to this team wasn't the madoff scandal... it was that the Madoff scandal did not cripple the wilpon to the point that they would have to sell to a group ALA what happened to the Dodgers... A group who would invest in making the mets the equal to any franchise in the sport...

As far as a article been caught up in work deadlines... but definitely have to put thoughts to pen...

Tom Brennan said...

If Walker is REALLY healthy, he could be a nice 3 year signing - look at what he did, offensively and defensively, despite playing with a balky back much of the year. If the back is fixed he might be a real goodie

Mack Ade said...

Eddie -

I have an understanding of the Mets payroll.

Eddie Corona said...

would anyone be willing to trade conforto to the tigers for JD martinez? I imagine we would have to add another piece... And I am not willing to just discard Conforto...
But just wondering what you would think of that move?

Mack Ade said...

Eddie -

I am not sure if I believe in Conforto but I am sure he deserves an entire year to start to prove his future value to this team, either as a player or a trade chip

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