Reese Kaplan -- If Only It Was 2015 Again...

Over the weekend people were debating with me about the stagnation of the New York Mets and how Sandy Alderson was able to land talent last year by waiting for it to come to him.


I did a little checking and verified what I’d suspected.  The Neil Walker for Jon Neise trade took place during the winter meetings and was consummated on December 9th.

The Asdrubal Cabrera signing (which caught most of us by surprise) took place two days later on December 11th

It’s now December 28th and to date the Mets have added zero players to the major league roster above and beyond what they had when the 2016 season ended.  Defenders are quick to point out the Neil Walker QO (which is a foolish waste of money) and the Yoenis Cespedes contract, but those players were indeed there when the season ended. 

I do remember the 2015 season during which there were two late Spring additions – Jerry Blevins for Matt den Dekker (a great trade) and the great Gazoo aka Alex Torres for Cory Mazzoni.  Sometimes you get quality.  Sometimes you get Alex Torres. 

Given the success Jerry Blevins has had while playing for the Mets, some would argue there is merit to waiting.  The flip side, of course, is that the longer you wait the fewer choices will be available.  (And, some might say, if Blevins is so good, why wouldn’t a team with post season aspirations want to keep him, but that’s another rant for another day). 

There are still other bullpen free agents on the board who could help.  Some would include:

  •  Netafali Feliz (turned it on in the latter part of the season)
  • J.P. Howell (Been more good than bad for many years…age should depress his price)
  • Boone Logan (very much a LOOGY)
  • Javier Lopez (mostly good throughout his long career – should not be expensive – music to Sandy’s ears)
  • Jonathan Papelbon (Hey, what’s another despicable person to add to the clubhouse?)
  • Sergio Romo (he showed he’s still got something in the tank)
  • Fernando Salas (was his brief trial here for real or just a benefit of a small sample size?)
  • Joe Smith (too good to remain out there much longer)
  • Drew Storen (will be pricy)
  • Chris Withrow (surprisingly non-tendered after always posting good numbers)
  • Travis Wood (may have found his calling as a reliever)

Trades don’t seem to be his preferred MO for solving problems.  However, should he go that route then it’s anyone’s guess who he would target.  Some clamor for Jay Bruce for a warm bodied reliever primarily to get salary relief.  I’m as frustrated about the inertia as anyone but I have to wonder if Alderson is being unrealistic in his demands for Bruce or Granderson that he’s been unable to consummate a deal.  Once Mark Trumbo, Jose Bautista and Michael Saunders are off the board then perhaps his phone will ring.  It’s a dangerous game, however, as the club has needs to address and thus far is not doing it.  


Thomas Brennan said...

Pop, pop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is...fast-acting Alka Seltzer...slow acting Sandy.

I hope we are not experiencing season-choking bullpen meltdowns in 2017 as a result of being cheap on the pen this offseason. There's no much hat is worse than coughing up late leads.

Zozo said...

I would go all in on Greg Holland myself

Reese Kaplan said...

I like the thought but given the number of injury issues the club had last year I think they would be somewhat hesitant to pony up big dollars for anyone who isn't supposed to be healthy. (Wait, didn't they give a QO to Neil Walker?)

Seriously, I think Holland would only interest Alderson if he took a HUGE one-year prove himself discount a'la Mike Napoli did last year with Cleveland.

Thomas Brennan said...

Sandy is browsing the bargain bins as we "speak". He shops at Savers.

Eddie Corona said...

Holland would be a nice addition but as a second acquisition... We need a solid set up man for Reed as a closer the first 30 games and someone who could help make a 3 headed Bullpen when familia returns...
The robles as the 4th filler piece would be ideal...

Reese Kaplan said...

A lot of people are on the Robles bandwagon but his numbers scare me. Last year he nearly doubled the number of hits allowed, did double the walks, his WHIP increased by 20%, his strikeouts decreased and the only positives I can take is he was slightly better about keeping the ball in the yard while his ERA dropped 5%. Meh.

Mack Ade said...

All -

I close my eyes and try and get into Sandy's head before I write about him.

I guess his thoughts may be that he will have 7 starters in camp that have successful major league numbers (Syndergaard, deGrom, Harvey, Matz, Wheeler, Lugo, Gsellman).

My guess is he plans to have at least one of these in the Mets pen on opening day (another in AAA awaiting an emergency phone call).

I think he will build the 2017 pen around that starter-turned-reliever, Addison Reed, and Jeurys Familia.

Does he have enough even under this plan? No,but I believe he still hopes to trade either Granderson or Bruce for another quality pen pitcher.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, you're in effect asking us Mets mental patients to show patience. My nephew just became a doctor specializing in anesthesia. I may ask him to put me under for 6 weeks until pitchers and catchers so I can relax! I have no patience!! When they signed Cespedes, I wanted all other deals finalized by the next day.

Reese Kaplan said...

I'd be happy with a single player added to the mix. There have been no major league players added and they are the only team in the division to have sat on its dubious laurels thinking what they have is good enough.

A winning club addresses its needs. Right now one of those needs is to fortify the bullpen. If it means you are waiting to trade Bruce and/or Granderson for prospects, so be it...but that should not preclude you from improving the team in other areas while you wait for the market to come to you for those outgoing pieces.

Mack Ade said...

Tom - Reese:

I could be wrong here (I have been numerous times in the past) but I believe Anderson has no plans on adding anyone until he clears salary in the outfield.

I hope I am wrong, but we may be going to opening day with an outfield of Bruce, Cespedes, Conforto, Grandy, and Lagares.

Pen wise, who the heck knows.

Thomas Brennan said...

"Take my Bruce, please"

Reese Kaplan said...

To satisfy my morbid curiosity I wondered if ANY other major league baseball team had not added a single player to its roster since 2016 ended. We already know the Mets stand alone in this regard in their division.

Charitably the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians both make the list though they have added players -- Lisalverto Bonilla and Nick Goody respectively -- who have had minimal major league exposure.

The only other club in all of MLB that has not added a single player with major league experience is the bottom dwelling Cincinnati Reds. So there you have the business model to which Sandy Alderson aspires...

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