Mack Ade – Questions and Answers - Team Building, Mrs. Mack, Jerry Blevens, Sour Writing, Jimmy Armet


Good morning.

Let’s get right to it.

Brian asked –

            Hey Mack. I know you’re high on Thor and Cespedes. Past that, how would you be building this team?

                        Mack – Hey Brian. Glad to hear from you again.

First all, the current team has some very good players that are under team control and have not reached their arbitration years. Michael Conforto, Steven Matz, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Brandon Nimmo, and T.J.Rivera. all fall in this category.

Add to that the two seasons left (team control) for Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia, the three seasons for Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud, and Wilmer Flores, the four seasons left for Jacob deGrom, and the five seasons left for Noah Syndergaard, Conforto, and Matz and (with Cespedes) you have only 14 core players to build a future roster with.

Moreover, seven of these are starting pitchers and two (Rivera, Nimmo) are most probably utility players.

I can’t do much about 2017 unless I can clear salary. I have $67mil+ tied into one year deals that expire at the end of the season.

What I can do is make sure two of my top prospects, Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario, are called up at some point this season. Now 16 core players.

I also would fast track my three ex-college top tier prospects, Justin Dunn, Tomas Nido, and David Thompson. I want them ready for 2018. I know in my heart that, if I have eight top tier starters, I can deal two of these for at least two top tier position players.

Lastly, I would double the money committed to the International Draft and continue to invest in the number of scouts needed to improve the return of that process as well.

Beyond that, all I can do is put the names on the board that I currently have, both for 2017 and 2018, and go from there –

                                                2017                                                  2018
            1B:                              Lucas Duda                          Dominic Smith
            2B:                              Neil Walker                          Wilmer Flores
            SS:                              Astrubel Cabrera                  Amed Rosario
            3B:                              David Wright                        David Wright
            UTIF:                          T,J. Murphy                                     TBD
            UTIF:                          Wilmer Flores                                 TBD
            LF:                               Yoenes Cespedes               Yoenes Cespedes
            CF:                              Curtis Granderson                        TBD
            RF:                              Michael Conforto           Michael Conforto
            UTOF:                        Jay Bruce                                          TBD
            UTOF:                        Juan Lagares                        Juan Lagares

This is what’s on my current board and, if you think we don’t have enough for 2017, trust me… 2018 currently looks like a disaster.

Tony asked –

            Hey Mack, hope things are going well. I read on one your earlier posts that Mrs. Mack was having some medical problems. Do you have an update on my favorite brownie maker?

Mack – Sure Tony. Mrs. Mack was diagnosed with first stage Thyroid cancer and she had her complete thyroid gland and lymph nodes removed this past Thursday. She has begun post-operative treatments the doctor wants her to participate in and I’m doing all the cooking and washing of the dishes. Thanks for asking.

Tomi asked - 

             Of the players still unsigned via free agency, who do you wish the Mets would go after?

                    Mack - First of all, let's look who is still out there - 

                    Mark Trumbo, Jose BautistaJason HammelMatt WietersMike NapoliGreg HollandTravis Wood, Neftali FelizBrandon MossLuis ValbuenaNick HundleyChase UtleyRajai DavisAngel PaganAdam LindPedro AlvarezKurt Suzuki, Colby Rasmus,  And relief pitchers Joe BlantonSergio RomoSantiago CasillaFernando SalasBoone LoganJerry Blevins).

                        I would first Blevins a decent 2-year deal and make him my LOOGY. He pitched in 73 appearances for the Mets last year and went 4-2, 2.79. I don't care how old he is. He deserves it and solves the LOOGY slot for two years.

                       If I can't get Blevins, I would have gone after the right hand throwing Storen. He sort of put his career back together last year for Seattle (19-G, 3-0, 3.44, 0.87) and I wanted him on my mound when the Nats, who gave up on him,  come to town. Too late... he signed a one year deal with Cincy.

                        Past that, I can't consider any every day players until I move either Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson.

Michael asked –

            Mack, I’ve noticed that your writing and comments have gotten to be a little more negative about the Mets, in general, and Sandy Alderson, in particular. Any reason?

                        Mack. Thanks for the question Michael.

            It has, for a myriad amount of reasons. I think it comes with being a fan since 1962 and getting so little in return for that loyalty. I also think the playoffs two years ago reminded long time followers like me just what another championship year could have been.

            As for Sandy, he just doesn’t do enough. His drafts have been basically unsuccessful (other than Michael Fulmer which produced the Yoenes Cespedes trade, and maybe Michael Conforto, Brendan Nimmo, and Robert Gsellman), the participation in the International draft has been minimum, and his trades, though successful, when he finally pulls one off, are minimal.

            Frankly, I think he’s been lucky the last couple of years by filling in his 25-man roster with second and third level free agents that have overproduced.

            I think that the fact that I write about this team strengthens my fandom. Living in South Carolina, I have very little exposure to them, and now that there no longer is a minor league affiliate in the area, I have very little reason to follow this team other than participating on this blog.

And lastly...

          When I grew up in Ozone Park/Richmond Hill, there were six of us that kept each other from going in the wrong direction.

           Louis Sarasy, Bobby Rugan, Norman Shoemacker, Frankie Wolf, myself, and Jimmy Armet were the "gang" we called 'BASS'.

          The 6-9 Armet was the pitcher for our softball team that lost less than 20% of the games we played on the hard court at P.S. 62.

Jimmy passed from complications of diabetes on January 1st and joined Billy, who died over 10 years ago.

          R.I.P, Big Guy

We haven’t done this ‘Q and A’ thing in months and I miss it. Please send your questions to: macksmets@gmail  so I can add you to my next Q and A post. 


Thomas Brennan said...

First things first: wishing Mrs Mack a speedy recovery.

It is a good core, and I agree - Sandy's drafts have been a little drafty, and his signings underwhelming. His failure to sign Murph and stick him at 1B and move Duda last winter (as I suggested several times) was a HUGE mistake. Getting Thor is a trade was super, though.

I do hope we see the trio you mentioned by OD 2018 or, as you say, used in a great trade, Let's hope Rosario can achieve the status of Correa or Seager. It would be nice to have a superstar emerge, and not just another solid player.

My question for a Q&A: if you know as a GM that you'll need a relief pitcher or two, why do you HAVE to clear salary first? You'll clear it soon enough if you are determined enough, but by then your best BP choices may be off the board..

Mack Ade said...

I'll start my next Q and A post off with your question, but you are not going to like what I say.

bob gregory said...


To answer your question:
Alderson has to wait because he wants to "win" every trade.

He can not stand the thought of being "stuck" and bargaining from a self-imposed negative position.

It's his way.

Reese Kaplan said...

Is it his way? Is that only on trades? I seem to recall being unduly aggressive on Michael Cuddyer, Frank Francisco, Antonio Bastardo and others. He did sign Asdrubal Cabrera during the winter meetings a year ago and pulled off the Neil Walker trade then, too.

Of course, the flip side is 2015 when he waited until the very end of spring training to add Jerry Blevins and Alex Torres.

Or even earlier when he went into the season with both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I lived in Richmond Hill back in the late 90's. 127 Street and Liberty Avenue.

What you just said about Sandy Anderson is the reason that I call him "The Genius in his own mind" He over analysis everything to the point of not doing anything at all or in panic mode as it was when he traded our so called future 2B for Bruce.

Agree that the Mets should have a much bigger presence in the international drafting. But the "Genius" allowed the perfect scout for that to leave the organization. Omar Minaya.
I knew the 3 Stooges GMs were not up to the task when they made Nimmo the first draft pick. Then to add insult, they mostly drafted HS players instead of college players who would have been no more than 2 years away from the majors. Like I said, Genius.

Here is your first question for your Q&A Mack.
Lets assume that Harvey has a great 2017 where he re-establishes his value. Who do the Mets trade him to and what can't they get from the following teams if they were willing to trade for Harvey. Yankees, Astros, Pirates, RedSox.

Question to all:
The Mets want to trade Bruce for a ML ready BP arm or prospects. With that in mind, isn't it the same thing if they trade Bruce now for 2 mid level prospects which then frees up the money to sign the BP arm they need? Either way the Mets end up with the BP arm they need but if they get the 2 prospects, they don't have to wait when the free agent relief pitcher they want may no longer be available.

Still don't have my id Mack.


Mack Ade said...

Bob -

You may be right.

I'm not sure anyone is calling Alderson at this point in the off season.

Mack Ade said...

Viper -

In order to get an ID, you have to add your own name when you join the site. Go back and join again and write in your name when the site asks you to.

Same as a writer... if you want to be a writer, email me your email address and I will send you the proper email address to let you into the site as a writer.

Regarding Richmond Hill, you were up by the Crossbay Theatre... used to go there all the times... saw West Side Story there with my 'crew' I mentioned in this post... I lived on 106th Street and 95th Avenue.

Mack Ade said...

Viper -

I honestly think the window of dealing off Bruce for a decent return has past. He is now the property of the Mets for 2017 and we are going to have to deal with that.

Anonymous said...

If that's the case, the Genius should take whatever the Phillies are willing to give, get the 13M back and re-sign Blevins.

He, The Genius, will look really really stupid if Walker ends up having back issues in 2017 and has to sit for an extended period of time.

Totally outsmarted himself this past year.


Thomas Brennan said...

Viper there will be a new movie coming out starring Mark Wahlberg called American Viper...you, sire, are a SHARPSHOOTER!

BTW, I grew up at 244th and 89th Ave in Bellerose...and saved my Bordens milk carton coupons to go to Mets games. Had I not, who knows if I would have stayed a Mets fan - getting out to the park as a kid helps lock in a person"s fanhood.

bob gregory said...

I would ask: who is more likely to have a better 1st half of the season?
Bruce or Granderson?

I happen to believe Bruce will be more likely to have a better beginning to the year. This will give him increased trade value and he will have contributed more (if I am correct of course )

This reinforces the reason why I would be focused on trading Granderson now.

Additionally this works.for.me, because I would be looking to upgrade with a better centerfielder than Granderson.

bob gregory said...

But...Then again I would be glad to trade both....and try to get McCutcheon or Blackmon.

Anonymous said...

Hello Thomas,
If you ever see a Anonymous id who refers to Sandy as the Genius in his own mind and Terry Collins as the "Imbecile in the dugout" is me.

I went from Richmond Hill to Bayside. Bell Blvd & 43rd Avenue. (God I miss that neighborhood) Now live in infamous Newtown, CT. Great place but miss the convenience of NY.

For 2018 the Mets will need a CF and RF where they can use Lagares and Conforto. How much you want to bet that the Genius will sign another version of Eric Young or Chris Young and the Imbecile will play them ahead of Lagares and Conforto? You gotta play those veterans you know.

Thomas Brennan said...

I'm with you, Bob. Many fans like Grandy more, so they are apt to rationalize and keep him, but I am very concerned about his age and a related drop in output. Hopefully Nimmo is readying himself to step in if G Man falters.

Adam Smith said...

I'all take a crack at that question... I think that Sandy is waiting because they are currently around $10mm OVER their budget, not just at the budget. He needs to make sure he can get someone to pick up Bruce's entire contract (not a given) to see if he'll have $3mm left to spend. My bet is that you see them go into the season at around $10mm less than they'are at right now (including the the expected arbitration salaries).

bob gregory said...

I am most bothered with the fact that, after all of these years Alderson has not created a reliable core group of position players.

It has been 6 years.
The closest he has come to a core is:

The every day position players always seem to be in upheaval.

His roster building never seems to match up to one unified end goal.

It just seems like a house being built without a blueprint of what the finished product should look like. Materials needed for the building arriving out of order but being thrown together anyway.

Thomas Brennan said...

Cool. Look, Lagares can be a real asset if he stays healthy. Scale back on recklessness and we may see it. Hoping for MC Hammer to stick his soph jinx in the garbage and to rock in 2017.

Thomas Brennan said...

Reyes was such a lucky pick up. One can only hope for a healthy Cabrera and Walker, and if so, a decent core for 2017 until Rosario shows up to become our derrick Jeterm

Mack Ade said...

Tom... and all -

I'm a big believe of there is a time a player comes and there is a time he has to prove himself before he blossoms or goes away.

I believe the Mets outfield is Granderson, Bruce, and Cespedes until someone else takes their position away

I believe Conforto is being given that shot now

I believe Nimmo will never be given that show

And I believe Lagares' shot has already been shot

Thomas Brennan said...

Strange things happen evry spring, Mack. But Lagares has blown a lot of chances with his recklessness.

bob gregory said...

Sad thought

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