Mack – Q and A – Starlin Castro, Mets Sleepers, Zack Wheeler, Prospects in Queens

Good morning.

Bob asked –

I read today in the NY post an article pointing out the Mets spending more than they originally wanted to in payroll in order to take advantage of the falling prices on relievers Salas & Blevins. 

I noticed toward the end of the article a quick reference in passing that the Yankees have let it known that Starlin Castro was available for trade.

My question:  if possible, (in your opinion) in what might be the pros and cons for the Mets having Castro as a part of their roster?

Of course, additional roster changes would need to be made.  For example, Cabrera and Flores could become valuable trade pieces.  I am not sure if Walker would have any trade value.

Thank you for your thoughts

Mack – First the good news. The 27-year old Castro would absolutely, positively solve second base for the Mets. He’s under contract for reasonable amount of money through 2019, has a team option in 2020, and would cost less in 2017 than Neil Walker if you could find him a home.

The bad news… what would the Yankees take for this guy? MLB Trade rumors says that the Yanks have Castro on the market, but only for team controlled prospects. This wouldn’t give the Mets any opportunity to go dollar-for-dollar by offering either Neil Walker or Jay Bruce for the Castro contract ($32mil).

I can’t see this happening without trading second baseman for second baseman. And, I’m sure as hell not going to trade any of my prospects to the dreaded Yankees, especially when I’m just beginning to build back the pipeline.

You would have to deal someone like Amed Rosario.


Jon asked –

Enjoy Mack’s Mets. Wonder if you and your writers can write about their sleepers for the upcoming Mets minor league season.

            Mack – Good question.

            Here’s five of mine…

1.     SP P.J. Conlon – everybody’s writing about this guy this week, so maybe he’s not a sleeper anymore. Comes from Belfast, Ireland and has pitched lights out since joining the Mets organization as a 13th round pick in 2015. Is 12-3, 1.47, 0.94 in 1.5 seasons. Should start this spring in Binghamton and word is he could make his way to Queens to join the pen by this September.

2.     LHRP Ben Griset – another late rounder (13th round/2013), Griset had a breakout season for St, Lucie last season, going 32-G, 4-2, 1.80 1.03. Look for him to join Conlon in Binghamton this spring. 

3.     LHSP – Jake Simon – The prep lefty was supposed to sign with Rice University so he fell to the 11th round in the 2015 draft. He did not have a great season last year in Kingsport (12-starts, 4.83, but the 9.38 K/9 ratio was still there. Many prep kids start slow and I expect him to get his game together this season in Brooklyn.

4.     OF Ricardo Cespedes – Yes, the Mets have another Cespedes playing in their outfield. Was signed in 2013 as a Bronx free agent 16-year old. Hit .322 last year for Kingsport as an 18-year old (6th in the league). You will read a lot more about this kid if he keeps hitting like this in Columbia this season.


    5.     RHRP Logan Taylor – Taylor could be the next great reliever to come out of the Mets chain. The 25-year old Taylor was converted to the Binghamton pen last year and produced a 10.40 K/9 ratio. Less pitches each game means more velo. Now throwing a consistent mid-90s fastball.

Tony asked –
                       Hey Mack, everybody seems to have an opinion on whether or not Zack Wheeler should begin this upcoming season in the Mets bullpen.

 What’s your spin on this?

      Mack – Tony, thanks for your continued questions.

                       First, he shouldn’t pitch anywhere unless he is 100% healthy. This guy is still only in his late 20s and has a lot of baseball ahead of him, but he has none unless his arm is fully healed.

                       I have to assume that Wheeler came to camp and immediately threw off the rubber. He couldn’t have waiting this long to get close to being game ready. He’s had the entire off season to begin that process.

                       I consider Wheeler a starter and, with the recent additions of Fernando Sales and Jerry Blevens, I don’t see an immediate need to place him in the bullpen. I’d like him to start the season in the Mets rotation, but only if he can get enough innings to keep his arm strong. If not, I would let him pitch in Las Vegas as the SP1 in April.

                       My guess is that the Mets will start the season with a 6-man rotation, not only because of the history with Wheeler’s arm, but also because three other starters are coming back from arm injuries/surgeries.

Erik asks –

                       Is Amed Rosario the only prospect we could see sometime in Queens this season?

    Mack – Hi. Erik.

                                    Technically, there are other Mets ‘prospects’ that will play sometimes in Queens this season, but we’ve seen all of them already.

                                    At different times, you might see Seth Lugo, T.J. Rivera, Gavin Cecchini, and Brandon Nimmo. Putting the expanded September roster aside, I expect 2018 will bring Rosario, Paul Sewald, Dave Roseboom, and Dominic Smith.  

                                    2019 will be the year of Chris Flexen, Ricky Knapp, Ben Griset, Corey Taylor, Tomas Nido, Luis Gullorme, David Thompson, and Wuilmer Beccera.                              


Tom Brennan said...

Nice Q & A, Mack.

I think in 2019, we might also see Pat Mazelka and Marcos Molina, and Justin Dunn and Tom Szapucki in late 2019.

I think in 2018, you could easily see Phil Evans.

Logan Taylor faded in AA stretch after May (4.90 ERA, 1,58 WHIP), so he has to show me he can improve - if so, and wee need a pen arm, I could see him in late 2018 or early 2019. But right now, he is another Beck Wheeler until proven otherwise. It is why I left Taylor out of my Top 35.

Eddie Corona said...

I don't mind Castro but he has no role on this team... 2b base will be filled Internally for probably the Next 10 years with the Pipeline we have...
the Positions we need to build depth is CF, C, and 3b....

Mack Jake Simon.. This is the first reference I've heard of him... HMMM

If wheeler Isn't fully healthy by now what are the Mets doing? I would start him for day one... If he is fully healthy and Pitches 160 Innings.. then I would move him to the Pen... In the playoffs If everything goes well he wouldn't start anyway...

We have plenty of names in the pipeline... This is Flipping guys like Duda, walker and Bruce makes sense... we acquire assets and we have places for some of these guys to play... Plus we have holes that we are not deep in... (this is because I couldn't comment on Reese's article on Sat... I'm with you Reese...lol)

Mack Ade said...

Eddie -

I'm working on a Q and A for this weekend that includes a 'what do we do with Wheeler' question from our good friend Hobie.

As for Simon, a big prep arm. Keep an eye on him this season. May be a slow starter like Flexen has been.

Eddie Corona said...

sounds good

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