11/23/17

Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Mack family.

The site is closed today.

Go eat. 
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11/22/17

Hot Stove - 11-22-17

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Former Mets catcher, Juan Centeno, was placed on waivers by Houston.


Due to the International shenanigans by the Atlanta Braves, they have lost the rights to12 international prospects, including IF Kevin Maitan, C Abraham Guiterrez, SS Yunior Severino, RHP Juan Contreras, SS Livan Soto, RHP Yefri del Rosario and the work they have done to secure 14-year old SS Robert Puason.  

They also lost their 3rd round pick next draft and there has been severe limitations on the 2019-2020, and 2020-2021 international signing period. 

This is a big deal and now you know why Director Of Baseball Operations, John Hart, got out of town before baseball lowered the boom.

John Sickles has Maitan as the #13 prospect in the Braves pipeline (B/B-). 

Guiterrez and Severino received a C+ rating from Sickles. Del Rosario is rated C.


The MLB have authorized an agreement for the 'Japanese Babe Ruth', two-way star Shohei Ohtani, to play stateside: - 


When Ohtani chooses a team, it will pay a $20 million posting fee to Ohtani’s NPB team, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. That figure was grandfathered from the previous posting agreement; in the future, Japanese teams will receive posting fees on a sliding scale, with 20 percent for contracts under $25 million, 17.5 percent on deals from $25 million to $50 million and 15 percent for bonuses above $50 million. Other issues expected to potentially affect future agreements bothered the union enough that it raised objections before ratifying the proposal.
     stop drooling Mets fans. Ain't gonna happen.

Jonathan Mayo outlined the who, what, and where the process would be to sign any of these players...

  • The players — who get to keep their original bonuses but cannot be represented by the agents that negotiated their original contracts — will be subject to international signing pool restrictions but are otherwise free to sign with any organization.

  • MLB teams will be allowed a fresh $200K of bonus pool space to work with to sign any of these prospects. They may elect to draw from either their current signing period pool allocation or that of the 2018-19 period (but not both).

  • All MLB teams but the Braves can sign the prospects between December 5th of this year and January 15th of the next. Any players that do not sign within that period will no longer be eligible to receive a signing bonus. The Braves are eligible to pursue any still-unsigned prospects (without a bonus offer) beginning on May 1, 2018.




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Mack’s Apple’s – 11-23-17 - Noah Syndergaard, Eric Hanhold, Kenneth Bautista, Fredy Valdez, Manny Machado

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Good morning.



Who can become baseball's next next superace ? -

Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets: It was a lost season for Syndergaard, who made five starts before going down with a lat tear (he returned to make two abbreviated appearances at the end of the season). He has said he learned a lesson from getting too muscular in his offseason workouts heading into 2017 and will scale back this winter. We know the upside: A 2.60 ERA over 183 innings in 2016 with a league-leading 2.29 FIP. In the 30 innings he did pitch this year, he fanned 34 and didn’t allow a home run. Aside from the raw stuff, his ability to limit home runs is a huge positive in this new era of home runs.


6-5 Eric Hanhold was identified as the ‘player to be named later’ in the trade of 2B Neil Walker to the Baltimore Orioles.

Hanhold is another right-handed reliever with a big arm, was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2015 draft, out of the University of Florida, by Milwaukee.
I never had this kid on my draft board because he pitched three years as a reliever for Florida and his best ERA was 4.20 (2014). He didn’t fare any better for Milwaukee, even when they converted him to a full-time starter in 2016 at the A+ level (19-starts, 2-12, 4.81).

He did turn it around a little last season (A-Carolina: 30-G, 3-starts, 8-3, 3.94, especially in the second half of the season where he posted a stat line of 1.53, 1.09-ERA.
I have him breaking camp with the Binghamton team this spring.



I talked earlier this week to Mets outfield prospect, Kenneth Bautista, down in Puerto Rico.

Bautista lives in Carolina, Puerto Rico and he told me that he is blessed to have his power on at him home. Not everyone is that lucky down there with the island still estimating that over 50% of the island is without power.

Bautista was a 25th round draft pick, in 2015, out of the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy, in Gurabo, Puerto Rico.

The 19-year old hit .264/.383/.450/833 in 129-at bats for the GCL Mets last season. He had 43 strikeouts, but balanced that off with 22 walks.

I’ve got him going to Kingsport this spring.



Baseball America is reporting that the Mets are the favorite to sign 15-year old corner outfielder, Freddy Valdez. He’s 6-3 and known for his ’raw power’.

           



I find it very interesting that Baltimore hasn’t begun any extension discussions with 3B Manny Machado. He has one year left on his contract and it’s no big secret that the Orioles have plans to move him to shortstop so one of their prospects can take over the hot corner.

Let’s remember Machado was a top SHORTSTOP prospect in the minors and only moved to third because of team injuries at that position.

I can’t imagine the Orioles giving up on this guy, but I’ve seen many players with huge salary demands be dealt off before the team loses them anyway.

Could we get this guy for the 2018 season and beyond?

David Rubin says I’m nuts here and this guy would never sign a deal with the Mets. Rubin has good contacts, both at the team and league level, so he may be right, but, if it was possible, what could the Mets offer here?

You know how I hate projecting phantom trades, but Machado is worth the effort here.

The first thing the Mets would have to work out with Machado’s agent is a trade and extend deal, somewhere in 4-5 years attached to the 2018 commitment. Remember… Machado will only be 25 years old next season!

Machado will obviously cost $30+mil a season.

In addition, I would offer 4 players.

To start, either 3B David Thompson or SS Luis Guillorme. The Orioles would need some infield depth on that side of the field and they can decide what position they would like to fortify (I would hate to lose Luis, but baseball is first a business).

Next, an SP… I’d give them three…

One at the MLB level… Seth Lugo.

Next, a top high level prospect… they can pick one from Chris Flexen, Marcos Molina, or Corey Oswalt.

And last, a low level pitcher… either Thomas McIlraith or Jason Viera.

Is it enough to get him?

Well, it would first take Machado and the Mets to work out a new deal. If they could do that, this is a good haul for a team that is going to lose this guy anyway in a year.





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NEW MET - OF Zach Borenstein

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The Mets have signed corner outfielder, Zach Borenstein, to a minor league contract.

Borenstein was a 23rd round draft pick in 2011, out of East Illinois Univ., by the Los Angeles Angels.

He has played the last three seasons for Arizona. Last year, at AAA-Reno (PCL), he hit: 384-AB, .279/.353/.573, with an OPS of 926 and 24-HRs and 91-RBIs (remember... this was only 384 at bats)

He was granted free agency on November 7th.
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11/21/2017 Winter League Results | Becerra Back In the Line-Up, Albaladejo Knocked Around, 2 More Hits for Nunez

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Arizona Fall League

- Completed on November 18th
(Recap can be found here.) 



Mexican Pacific League
- Caneros de los Mochis 0 - 1 Yaquis de Obregon
- Naranjeros de Hermosillo 5 - 3 Tomateros de Culiacan
- Mayos de Navojoa 2 - 3 Venados de Mazatlan
- Charros de Jalisco 2 - 5 Aguilas de Mexicali
  • C Xorge Carrillo: 0 for 2, R, 2 BB, Error(2 | Fielding), 1 SB Allowed

Venezuelan Winter League
- Aguilas del Zulia 5 - 6 Tigres de Aragua
  • RF Wuilmer Becerra: 1 for 3, RBI(4), BB
  • RHP Alberto Baldonado: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K 
- Leones del Caracas 6 - 5 Tiburones de La Guaira
  • RHP Jonathan Albaladejo: 4.1 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 3 K
  • LHP Kevin Canelon: 0.2 IP

Dominican Winter League
Aguilas Cibaenas 9 - 5 Tigres del Licey
Leones del Escogido 8 - 2 Toros del Este
Estrellas Orientales 4 - 9 Gigantes del Cibao
  • SS Gustavo Nunez: 2 for 4, 2B, BB

Roberto Clemente Puerto Rican League
Side Note: Regular Season will start January 8th, 2018.

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Reese Kaplan -- Gambling on the Rule V Draft

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While a great many of us think we know a lot more about how to run a successful baseball franchise than do the people who are being paid to do so, the fact is that there are some difficult choices that will always leave the decisionmaker open to second guessing.  On Monday was one of those occasions when you watched the Mets decide who to retain on the 40-man roster, who to protect from the upcoming Rule V draft and who not to protect.  With a precious five spots available on the roster the Mets chose to shield just four from being exposed to changing teams. 

On the surface, that was a little surprising since in the lower minors the Mets have some talent that was worthy of consideration such as Adonis Uceta.  The calculated risk is that players who have not been above the A-ball level would likely not be picked by another club as it is a reasonable expectation they would not last the entire season on the receiving club’s major league roster. 

Of course, the flip side to that seemingly logical argument is that they chose to give one of those 40-man roster spots to A-ball hurler Gershon Bautista.  Here I think there was more afoot, primarily not wanting to wind up with egg on your face by losing a guy who put up some pretty gaudy numbers after coming over from the Red Sox as part of the Addison Reed deal. 

Tyler Bashlor is a bit more understandable as he did actually spend some time in Binghamton and is two years older and ostensibly more experienced than Bautista.  He also had a superior season overall, so there are no arguments from anyone for choosing to protect him.

Luis Guillorme has drawn parallels to Rey Ordonez for his magical glove.  He did hit well in the Arizona Fall League -- .289 to be precise -- which is actually right on par with his minor league career average of .285.  The problem with his game has been his anemic ability to drive the ball.  He has just 2 home runs in over 2000 plate appearances.  He had one outlier year in 2015 for Savannah when he stole 18 bases, but he has been at 6 or fewer in every other season.  As a comparison, Ordonez hit just .255 in the minors so perhaps there is a little more potential for a solid career.  Ordonez won 3 straight Gold Gloves and lasted 9 seasons.  I cruelly compared him to Ruben Tejada who was a .273 minor league hitter who, like Guillorme, stole some bases once upon a time but then seemingly gave up that part of his game.  He did manage to club 23 home runs over 2500 minor league plate appearances, so he was Ruthian by comparison to Guillorme.  Still, I can understand the logic of having a potential Gold Glove fielder who can offensively keep his head above water as a potential player in the future or a trade chip down the road.

It also makes perfect sense to protect your minor league pitcher of the year, Corey Oswalt, who put together a sensational season for Binghamton.  When you turn in an entire season with an ERA of just 2.28 that’s a no-brainer.

However, for a club that is seemingly forever pinching pennies, it would seem a good way to economize for the future and to build up your limited arsenal of trade chips would be to protect people who MIGHT be part of a long term solution rather than hanging onto those folks who have already shown that they are likely not. 

Towards that end, would outrighting Matt Reynolds or Josh Smoker or some others on the bubble have been a smarter decision?  That way even if an Ucetas or a Mickey Jannis don’t factor into your future plans in Queens, they’d still be guaranteed to be in the fold for trades down the road. 

Well, there is a silver lining to this puzzling strategy.  The Mets left one 40-man roster spot open.  That means either they could be scrap heap shopping when the Rule V draft occurs much like they did when they picked Sean Gilmartin a few years ago and were rewarded with a season of 50 game appearances and a 2.67 ERA. 

Of course, the more exciting aspect of the empty roster slot is the possibility of signing a free agent.  Don’t think Jake Arrieta or Wade Davis or J.D. Martinez.  Still, it will make for some good Hot Stove fodder until after the December winter meetings and Rule V draft conclude on December 13th

So what do you think of how the Mets handled their roster?
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11/21/17

Hot Stove - 11-21-17

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Mets and Tigers discussing possible trade for 2B Ian Kinsler...
$11mil in 2018... 9 straight years with positive DRS numbers at second... 2017: .725-OPS... 91/wRC+  - Kinsler would be a great one year fix until Luis Guillorme becomes ready in 2019

Former 2013 1.1 Draft Pick, RHP Mark Appel, DFA'dby the Phillies... 17 starts last year for AAA-Lehigh Valley: 5.27. 1.76. 


Trade:  Yankees send RHP Ronald Herrera to Texas for LHP Reiver Sanmartin. The Herrera move was designed to clear room on the Yankees' 40-man roster prior to the Rule 5 Draft. 

    Herrera's best 2017 numbers were at the AA level: 9-starts, 8-0, 1.13, 0.82

    Samartin rose to A ball in 2017: 7-G, 6-ST, 4-1, 2.62

Toronto outright former top outfield prospect, Harold Ramirez. The 23-year old Ramirez hit .260/.320/.358 in AA ball last season.

Cleveland DFA's RHRP Dylan Baker... 2017: AA - 13-G, 2.84

Trade: Yankees  trade IB Garrett Cooper and LHP Caleb Smith to Miami for RHP Michael King and International signing bonus pool money

    2017 - 

    Cooper - AAA: .366, 17-HR, 82-RBI

    Smith - AAA: 18-G, 9-1, 2.39, 1.05

    King - A:  26-G, 25-starts, 3.14, 1.09
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Tom Brennan - FIRST, YA GOTTA SHOW UP

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Tom Brennan - FIRST, YA GOTTA SHOW UP

I hate tables, like the one below - I went to edit the table in Excel, and when I returned it from Excel, my article was gone.  POOF!  So I will try to recreate the concept briefly.


There is much discussion about the Mets' needing to stay within a spending budget.  We as Mets fans, all we hear is that we're working within a budget, that there isn't much to spend, and how should we spend our paltry ducats on middle of the road players while other teams splurge on the high profile guys.

What about the revenue side, though? 

Simply put, winning teams win more games.  An 80 game winner will, all other things being equal, draw fewer fans than if it were a 90 win team.  A 90 win team will , all other things being equal, draw fewer fans than if it were a 95 win team.

Fewer tickets get sold at big discounts when the product is more in demand, and concessions and food and beverage sales also ascend northward.

TV ratings go up too, as fans love to watch, and that drives ad revenues.

Spending well and generously can have an ameliorating impact on revenues, franchise value and the like.  And, of course, if the team makes the playoffs and gives it a nice run, that is Jackpot City for ownership.

In the table below, we see that the Yanks averaged 36,048 fans, while the big market Mets averaged a middle of the pack 30,563.  At home, the disparity is more like 9,000 fans per game at the House that Ruth Rebuilt, all of whom spend $$ on tickets, food, brews, etc.

What would a return to health for our pitchers and Cespedes, and some dandy, even if costly acquisitions do for the Mets?  What if there were even 5,000 more fannies in seats for Mets home games because last year's 70 win team becomes 2018's 92 win team?  Revenues would go up, what, $40 - $50 million? Maybe more? 

My call?  Go for the wins, spend the real money for real quality players, and buy your team a playoff lotto ticket that you might actually get to cash in, you low budget owners. 

The minor league system won't get it done for you in 2018, because you, well, didn't draft all that good in 2011-17, so spend the money, Sonny.

Also in the table below, what you see is primarily that the teams that drew more than the Mets were big market, strong teams, and smaller market, really strong teams.  Below the Mets?  Mostly lousy teams in big markets and not-very-good teams in smaller markets.  Owners, let's get Mets' attendance into the top 5 - get some real players - by spending some real money.

OK, I'm signing off before my article vanishes again.  Have a great day, and SHOW UP.




2017 Attendance Home Road Overall
RK TEAM GMS TOTAL AVG GMS  AVG  GMS AVG
1 LA Dodgers 81 3,765,856 46,492 81 33,579 162 40,035
2 St. Louis 81 3,447,937 42,567 81 31,324 162 36,945
3 San Francisco 81 3,303,652 40,785 81 31,376 162 36,081
47 NY Yankees 79 3,146,966 39,835 81 32,354 160 36,048
5 Toronto 81 3,203,886 39,554 81 29,912 162 34,733
6 Chicago Cubs 81 3,199,562 39,500 81 34,460 162 36,980
7 LA Angels 81 3,019,583 37,278 81 27,663 162 32,471
8 Colorado 81 2,953,650 36,464 81 30,575 162 33,520
9 Boston 81 2,917,678 36,020 81 31,563 162 33,792
10 Milwaukee 81 2,558,722 31,589 81 30,530 162 31,060
11 Washington 81 2,524,980 31,172 81 29,967 162 30,570
12 Texas 81 2,507,760 30,960 81 26,699 162 28,829
13 Atlanta 81 2,505,252 30,929 79 29,230 160 30,090
14 NY Mets 80 2,460,622 30,757 81 30,372 161 30,563
15 Houston 81 2,403,671 29,674 79 27,678 160 28,689
16 Detroit 81 2,321,599 28,661 80 26,725 161 27,699
17 Kansas City 80 2,220,370 27,754 80 28,458 160 28,106
18 San Diego 81 2,138,491 26,401 81 32,161 162 29,281
19 Seattle 81 2,135,445 26,363 80 26,797 161 26,579
20 Arizona 81 2,134,375 26,350 81 31,939 162 29,144
21 Minnesota 80 2,051,279 25,640 80 27,797 160 26,719
22 Cleveland 81 2,048,138 25,285 80 27,729 161 26,499
23 Baltimore 81 2,028,424 25,042 81 29,457 162 27,250
24 Philadelphia 79 1,905,354 24,118 81 30,940 160 27,571
25 Pittsburgh 81 1,919,447 23,696 81 32,633 162 28,164
26 Cincinnati 81 1,836,917 22,677 81 32,094 162 27,386
27 Chicago White Sox 79 1,629,470 20,626 81 28,443 160 24,583
28 Miami 81 1,651,997 20,395 80 29,160 161 24,750
29 Oakland 80 1,475,721 18,446 80 29,466 160 23,956
30 Tampa Bay 80 1,253,619 15,670 81 29,898 161 22,800









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