Mack Ade - Q and A - Wilmer Flores, Sandy's Drafts,


Good morning. 

Max asked -

    A two part question... 

    1. Mack, do you think that the fact that Wilmer Flores didn't agree to arbitration with the Mets could be a sign of his exiting the team before the season starts?

        Mack - Hey Max. Put it this way. Mets players always work this out. I think there has been two players that didn't in the past 10 years.

        Add this to the fact that Sandy Alderson hates when someone doesn't do what he wants to do and I'm sure Flores' name has quietly been added to the list of Mets    that could be traded before the season starts.

        This whole thing makes little sense to me. Flores isn't even a starter and he's still being paid seven figures to hit a ball with a bat.

        Is this payback for being traded earlier? Could be.

       I don't see him being around by the end of the season, possibly much sooner.

2. And if Flores is traded, who becomes the second utility infielder?

    Mack - Good question.

    I guess we are all assuming that T.J. Rivera is one of the utility infielders that will come out of spring training. I mean, the guy's never hit bad since leaving school, hit .333 last year for the Mets in 105-AB and had only three errors in the 222.2 inning he played in the field (.968).

    Is that good? Well, it was better than Jose Reyes (527 innings played, 6-E, .960).

    Assuming everybody leaves camp in one piece, these two should be your utility infielders. Though originally a shortstop, Reyes played third mostly in 2016 and can play second in a pinch. Rivera can play all three, plus first base.

    But what happens when the pins start falling?

    Would it be Gavin Cecchini? He did hit .300+ in the past two seasons for Binghamton and Las Vegas, but the only position he has played professionally is shortstop (let's remember... the job of a utility infielder is to play perfect defense in multiple positions while hitting a batting average above two. Playing only short is not what you want here). 

    Next would be Matt Reynolds. Another shortstop, that has only played 32 games at second and none at third. 

    So, where do we go from here? 

    Well, if you try to solve this within the current pipeline, all you have is a 26-year old that has played 258 games at second, 14 at short, and one at third. Not a wiz in the field. but not bad either. And, at least he isn't another shortstop.


L.J. Mazzilli.

Tony N. asked - 

    I saw you and Adam talking online about the Alderson years and whether or not he has drafted well. You have never been high on his choices. Why?

        Mack - (who is Adam?) Simple... do the numbers:

        Let’s review the 6-year Alderman era –

            2011 – 51 players drafted – 35 players signed – 1 star (Michael Fulmer) – 3 developing pros (Brandon Nimmo, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman)

            2012 – 42 players drafted – 21 players signed – 1 developing pro (Tomas Nido)

            2013 – 41 players drafted – 27 players signed – 1 developing pro (Dominic Smith)

            2014 – 39 players drafted – 11 players signed – 1 developing pro (Michael Conforto)

            2015 – 39 players drafted – 18 players unsigned – too soon to target developing pros

            2016 – 41 players drafted – 14 players unsigned – too soon to target developing pros

So what we have is seven 'potential' future stars on this team... out of 253 draft picks... the best of which is now on another team... and the rest show very little chance of getting someday to Cooperstown.

Barbara asked - 

    Mack, I saw an article online this week that said that the Mets have one of the most talented starting rotation plus one of the cheapest. When does that start to turn against us and who do you see the first to leave, and his replacement?

        Mack - Interesting question.

        First, let's assume the following five pitchers will be the Mets rotation, followed by the year they become a free agent -

        Matt Harvey - 2019

        Jacob deGrom - 2021

        Noah Syndergaard - 2022

        Zack Wheeler - 2020

        Steven Matz - 2022

        Pretty exciting, huh?

        It's obvious that Harvey will be the first to leave this team. I see zero chance of him remaining a Met past 2019. Frankly, I see him gone before this.

        I break down replacements into two categories... one, guys that will fill in during the 2017 and 2018 season if injuries come up, someone listed above is traded, or someone comes up short... they, in my opinion would be either Robert Gsellman or Seth Lugo.

        Then, in 2020, I look for Justin Dunn, or Anthony Kay to step up and earn their stripes after being drafted in the first round last season out of college.


Tom Brennan said...

Wilmer should not be dumped for that - if the trade makes sense, do it, but make it a business decision.

Lee Mazzilli will have to have a Phil Evans year to catch up to Evans, the AA batting title holder for 2016. Honestly, to have any hope of an MLB career, Lee needs to break out.

I have Tom Szapucki over Mr. Kay - Kay may have been a 1st rounder, but he will miss all of 2017 due to TJS, and throw his first minor league inning in 2018. By the end of this season, the stellar Szapucki should be pitching (and hopefully dominating) in St Lucie. Marcos Molina if healthy in 2017 can also show us what he's got, and PJ Conlon gets to show us if his stuff can get batters at AA/AAA level anywhere near as good as his awesome 2016 in A ball.

eraff said...

Flores should get 400 or so ab's..... I don't believe Met's FO sees his compensation as anything but the bargain it is.

As for a Sub playing every position PERFECTLY.... I don't believe anyone has that Standard.

My opinion is that Wright's condition will necessitate a move in the first half of the season. If everyone else is healthy, they have first wave replacements in their 40 man roster depth. They also have Dry Powder (from the Hot stove that you're all lamenting) to fill needs.

I like their approach so far.

Regarding Farm System and Drafts...the system is highly regarded, 5 years into SA's regime. Do you believe Sandy has ANYTHING to do with that!!???...or do you disregard the Rankings that are out there?

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

Frankly, you are right about Szapucki. I keep forgetting about him.

I agree with you about Evans... if... he has another breakout year

Christopher Soto said...


A) In response to Flores.....I doubt this has anything to do with a potential exit from the team. This disagreement is between the front office and Flores' agent....not the player. They are only off by approximately $300k so the fact that they have not settled yet is actually quite ludicrous. To me....this smells like a agent issue where he/she is trying establish a higher baseline salary to work from for next year's arbitration negotiations.

B) Regardless of mine/your's/Mack's/etc. opinions of the who will be a star vs a solid everyday starter vs bench player......the experts are very high on the Mets minor league system as a whole ranking them in the top 10 again in 2017. Perhaps Alderson is not the best at drafting at the top....but this is a testament to the organization's abilities to select players throughout the entirety of the draft AS WELL AS.....develop them in the lower levels of the system and then fine tune them in the upper levels so that they succeed at the MLB level.

Mack Ade said...

eraff -

I believe the Alderson drafts are sub-par. Period. My opinion, that's all.

Remember,you can't include the international players that have been signed here.

Mack Ade said...

(BTW... isn't it great to see Soto back?)

Reese Kaplan said...

If Flores was the price for a quality middle reliever would you do it?

Eddie Corona said...

Flores may be an interesting case of never being what we expected (early comparisons were Miguel Cabrera) and never appreciated for what he can do. (Rips Left handed Pitching)...
I don't see starter But i can understand some being hesitant in the wake of Murphy/Justin Turner type results... Problem is its hard to find consistent AB's on this team... (Terry is not a good platoon type manager)

Interesting points on how you break down the Pitching staff... This year seems to be D-day(year) for some of them in defining their long term value...

Christopher Soto said...


Nope.....middle relievers are such a commodity asset.....7 times out of 10 you can use a quality AAA arm and he would do just as well.

(i.e. Seth Lugo, Hansel Robles, Josh Edgin, etc. etc.)

Outside of the clear cut "premium" guys, The RP position is extremely volatile from year to year. Good guys in 1 year could be terrible the next and re-appear as dominant 5 years later (I'm looking at you Oliver Perez). The method almost supports the idea of never committing big dollars or more than 2 years to non closing assets.

Mack Ade said...

Reese/Soto -

I sort of agree with both of you.

I would trade Flores for a ++ young reliever that is either under team control or someone I can sign for 2 years... but... and this is a BIG but... this has to be a quality guy.

On the other side, there are alwasy 6-7 guys in Vegas that can be shipped in and out inhopes of finding the right guy for the right moment... but... your team needs 3 quality ++ relievers to back-end the game. We have Reed and Familia... is Robles the third?

Christopher Soto said...


Your spot on. If the Mariners came to me and said "we want to trade Edwin Diaz for Flores." I'm saying yes immediately.

BTW......recent comments widget fixed.

bgreg98180 said...

I would definitely not even think of trading Flores for a reliever until I had a chance to see what he could produce as a regular starter at a fixed position.

He has shown too much production when given an every day job at a fixed potion during his short history. AND he is only....25 (I think)?

Christopher Soto said...


Agreed.....but there are exceptions.

Would you say no to Flores for Edwin Diaz?

23 yr old RHP, 98 mph fastball/87 mph Slider. Became a closer last season and posted a 2.79 ERA with 18 saves and a 15.3 K/9.

IDK how you say no if your Sandy Alderson.

Tom Brennan said...

Edwin Diaz for Flores? Yessirree.

eraff said...

Mack...Critique of "DRAFTS" is pretty much saying they don;t know what a Young Good Ballplayer looks like...yet, they have a well regarded system.

Do they recognize International Talent better than US Talent???.... what is it that you're saying?

Conforto...Gsellman...Smith...Cheech...Dunn...Szapuki....Nimmo....Plawecki... that's a pretty good trail of players...many are knocking on the door now...and it's not the full list.

Some people have rated their system in the top 10--they have Talent...guys who will get a chance to Start.

I don't get it.

Hobie said...

DW should be be platooned at 1B, not Flores IMO. Wilmer should be as close to a FT 3B as permitted to get Reyes some work. One of Bruce, Granderson or Duda should be traded before OD so Conforto gets a near FT position too (1B or OF).

Assuming no trade, my LU card says:

*flip when Reyes plays

Mack Ade said...

eraff -

A lot of people don't get me :)

It's just my opinion. Don't waste any exclamation points on me...

Mack Ade said...

eraff -

one more thing buddy...

go back to the original post... I was asked a question about Sandy's drafts and I broke out the numbers... in my opinion, the results have not been impressive...

you don't agree...

that's cool...

bill metsiac said...

How much of the decision on drafts is made by the GM? Of any team?

In our case, does Sandy directly make the choices, never having seen the players in most vases, or is that pretty much left to the scouting director and someone like Ricco or Riccardi?

bill metsiac said...


Mack Ade said...

Bill -

Good question.

As in all teams, the Mets have a Head Scouting Director who is in charge of the draft. He has the 'almost' final word on all picks, but Alderson can rule on someone else. In most cases, the pick is made by the head guy.

Brandon Nimmo was Sandy Alderson's first pick in the draft as a Mets GM, but the pick was actually determined by and made by Chad McDonald, who was the head scouting director for the Mets back then. McDonald had flown to Wyoming to scout Nimmo and Alderson had never seen him.

Iteresting was the fact that McDonald almost flew the coop after that draft and joined Arizona

Robb said...

Its hard to judge drafts bc if we were having this convo one year ago gsellman/lugo wouldnt be part of the discussion. in football it takes 3 years to evaluate a draft and its way more a science then art there. In baseball it seems like 5 years is appropriate. As the system is now i think you also have to start including the intl FA too. So 2011 has the potential to produce 3/4 legit players thats pretty good even if only one of those is a 2+ war player a year.

2012 youre looking at cheech, but also nido, flexen and Plaweki.

time will tell but next year that one might look better then it does now and so forth

Reese Kaplan said...

@Bob Gregory, @Soto and others...

I am one of Wilmer Flores' biggest fans and cringed every time I saw dreck like Ruben Tejada and Eric Campbell getting the nod ahead of him. I don't think he gets the chance to play regularly for this team under the current manager.

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

Add to that him pissing off Sandy and I think you are right,

Reese Kaplan said...

It would be a tone deaf move to the fans who embraced Flores after the trade that wasn't to repeat the Justin Turner move of pushing away a crowd favorite.

eraff said...

Wilmer Flores Hits Lefties Well...and THAT is the extent of his Positives, at this point. He has a shot at playing "Survivable Defense" st First base. I believe he can becoem a more competitive hitter versus RHP's. He's a Very Slow Base Runner---and he's a very BAD base Runner---two different Problems on the bases!!!

This is not a heavy handed Critique---it's reality. He is NOT a starter, and I don't know that he will be one.

He will be a productive player if he's deployed to his best strengths...like MOST Players. He's a Nice Player in that 300-450 ab roll--maybe more, as an AL Player.

bill metsiac said...

Who would you bench to open a "play regularly" spot for him?

Mack Ade said...

Bill -

Flores does not get a regular start at any position in 2017 unless there is a major injury.

Tom Brennan said...

I agree there, Mack, after reading a Post column with Terry Collins today in which he says he wishes to replicate the Cubs' versatility (by giving Conforto and Bruce some time at 1st this spring, and Reyes in CF).

He said that he sees Reyes as the IF backup of starting SS, 2B, and 3B.

Where does all that leave Flores?

Assuming they keep him, I make him my 1B platoon with Duda. Flores kiils lefties, Duda is strong vs righties. Sounds like the formula to me.

Flores is another victim of the Mets being pennant contenders - on a crappy team, the team would be happy at his cost to start him 150 games, and he might surprise a lot of people. But on a really good one, opportunities get squeezed.

Mack Ade said...

I always remind people...

30 teams... 30 starters per position... 25 players per team... 750 players... 5 billion people on earth

bgreg98180 said...

Not true regarding Flores not hitting Righties well.

Look at his history, especially when playing full time.

bgreg98180 said...

He would be my 3rd baseman of the future.

I did not agree with other decisions made by the front office that have complicated this.

Reese Kaplan said...

When he plays regularly he hit what, like .280? Gee, you'd think whomever fills out the lineup card would notice and appreciate that...

bill metsiac said...

You're still dodging the question. You want him to play a position regularly this season, but WHERE? Who gets benched?

bgreg98180 said...

Not dodging at all.
Numerous ways I would have supported getting Flores in the lineup at a fixed position.
Trade Cabrera giving SS to Reyes.
Trade Reyes.
Trade Walker (preferable to have not resigned him without moving somebody else first)
Plan on Flores being the 3rd baseman replacement for Wright, who will most likely need to be replaced for the majority of the season. While waiting have Flores fill in at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and SS.

bill metsiac said...

My comment was directed at Reese, but I'll start with your post.

I don't think Wilmer is CLOSE to Walker or Cabby as long as they're healthy.

Replacing Reyes doesn't create a regular position, sonce Jose doesn't have one unless/until Wright can't play.

Having Wilmer fill in at various positions doesn't qualify as a "regular" position.

And right now, if David can play, Jose will be the backup at 2B, 3B, and SS.

The best opening for Wilmer rigjt now is backup at 1B and occasionally at the other IF spots. And if TJ picks up where he left off last season, there my not be a spot for Wilmer at all.

There will only be 2 IFers on the bench, and Jose will be one. The other will be competitive.

bgreg98180 said...

The biggest issue is that there was no plan to put Flores in a regular place well before this date in the off-season.

bill metsiac said...

Very true, but he's basically the RH half of a platoon, and only Duda could be the other half.

What starter is he better than?

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