Richard Herr - Year to Go For It/Year of Decision - #1

Year to Go For It
 Year of Decision

In 2017 the Mets look to make an all-out dash for a World Series victory.  They are primed for it. They have the tools. We should and will be discussing what we can expect out of the team in the coming year.

However, as we look toward the year 2017 and rub our hands together in gleeful anticipation, we’ve got to remember something else. There’s going to be a big turnover at the end of this year. If--make that--When the Mets win the Series, they’re going to have quite a few guys who could be leaving the roster. The list is: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Asdrubal Cabrera, Neil Walker, Jose Reyes, Lucas Duda, Addison Reed, Rene Rivera, and Fernando Salas. Some key, starting players are on that list. The makeover of the team for the 2018 season will be a big job. Ironically, it’s to be expected. Sandy Alderson is a big fan of short-term contracts. That, by definition, means there’s going to be a higher turnover rate on the team and he’s going to be a very busy boy during off-seasons, readjusting his roster.

So I’d like to take a look at what I project for players for the current year, but also chart what should happen with them when 2018 rolls around.  If I did all of those at once, I would probably come in with something longer than War and Peace. I’ll see if I can come up with five groups: starting pitchers, relief pitchers, infield, outfield and catchers, and management.

So without further ado, I’ll start with:


Noah Syndergaard - He’s number one because he is big, and I’m not just talking physically. He’s got the opening day assignment, so he’s the number one guy on the staff. Not only is he the number one pitcher on the mound, but also in the clubhouse. He brings that thing I have always found wanting on this club: swagger. (It was nice to see TC also talking about it.) He’s going to inspire some guys who have been too tentative to become confident and downright audacious. (Lead us to the attitude of the ’86 club!) For 2017, I’m thinking about 18 wins and an ERA under 3.00.

The outlook for 2018: First year of arbitration, but put him on a list of about six pitchers to consider for long-term contract.

 Jacob deGrom - Savviest pitcher on the team. (Now that Big Sexy is in Atlanta.) Imperturbable. I’d like to think the ulnar nerve operation fixed his problem and that he’ll get the velocity back up. If he doesn’t, I think the savvy will work for him. Doesn’t have Thor’s swagger, but isn’t afraid to take the ball. For 2017, I’m thinking 15-16 wins and an ERA about 3.00.

The outlook for 2018: Arb 2 year. Isn’t a FA until 2021. He’s another guy on that list of six for long-term.

Matt Harvey - The Dark Knight is the Dark Question Mark. We need to see if he is fixed after the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery. Since he’s said he’s got the feeling back in his hand, it looks good. It would be great if he could return to his dominating form, but I have weird reasons for saying that. So in 2017, I say he’s back. Though a little wobbly. 13 wins, and an ERA around 3.00.

Then there’s 2018: That’s his walk year. Harvey is another on my list of six pitchers for long-term contract negotiations. I think Sandy’s got to try his best to sign him. But then there’s somebody else involved here: the Dark Kite, Scott Boras. The agent does not have a career that’s checkered with home-town-friendly contracts. He’s best known for getting as much money as possible. And I keep hearing how Matt wants to wear pinstripes. So Sandy should negotiate - right up until November 30th of this year. Then, if there’s no contract, look for the best trade for him. I’d love for Matt to stay, but I don’t think that’s possible. So do the old Branch Rickey thing of trading a guy a year too soon. Or, as it exists in the current baseball world, a year before free agency.

Steven Matz - The DL Kid. I’m hoping for a surprise here: few, if any, trips to the DL. Although I think he’s not going to give us 32 starts. We know the stuff is there. He’s their only left-handed starter. I’ll guess he loses some time. In 2017, I think he’ll get 12 wins with an ERA around 3.20.

In 2018 - This and another year of team control, plus the ARB years. He’s on that list of six for long-term contracts, but there most certainly is time.

Zack Wheeler - Hasn’t pitched in two years. Tommy John surgery is not 100% effective. How many people remember Bobby Parnell? I know I’m sounding doom-and-gloomish, but that’s only to stress the message of: let’s be cautious. Pitch the guy this year, but don’t overstress him, don’t overload him. At first I thought the bullpen was a good idea until Dan Warthen said Wheeler’s the slowest of the pitchers to rebound. If he’s got to spend the year in Vegas, starting four-inning games, fine, just so long as he doesn’t overextend himself. His victory total is a listed below.

For 2018 - ARB 2 year. Free agent in 2020. He’s another on that list of six. I don’t think any moves should be made in that direction until after 2018.

Lugsellman - I know they’re two individuals, but they’re filling one category. I think Gsellman will prove to be a little bit better because he throws ground balls. Lugo might do better coming out of the bullpen with a superior breaking ball. These are a couple of dominoes but they probably won’t fall in the same direction. One or both could be in the bullpen or Vegas. Or they could do a lot of starting like last year. I hope not because that means there are too many injuries. I’m going to put their win total for this year at 14. That total is for the two of them, and if Wheeler’s with the parent club his numbers are in this total.

For 2018 - They’ll be around. Let’s see if they grow to the point where they need to be added to that list of six.

That’s the starters. I think I’ve got a total of 72 wins among them. I tried to rein in my basic fan and keep the win totals down. The inner me that I squelched was looking for a lot more wins out of the first few guys.

I’m designating a list of six for long-term-contract consideration, but I think only one of them should be addressed in the coming off-season. For those of you who are counting, I know there are only five up above. The sixth is a reliever.

Whenever Richard Herr isn’t solving all the Mets’ problems, he spends his time writing humorous science fiction novels.

You can see his books at https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Herr/e/B00J5XBKX4.


Tom Brennan said...

I think they will win more than 72 from those guys for one reason...I like the offense this year more than last year, Wright or no Wright. Score more runs, win more games.

I once compared Jerry Koosman (222-209, 3.36 career) to Mike Mussina (270-153, 3.68 career). Koosman pitched for lousy hitting teams most of his career, Mussina the opposite. If Koosman had Mussina's offensive support, he probably wins 60-70 more games in his career.

I think the Mets have a Mussina-type offense this year, and so I'll go with 80 wins for your pitcher list, not 72. May I be right.

Mack Ade said...

An excellent post. I look forward to the rest of the series.

Tom is right... the amount of Met starter victories is closely associated to the amount of runs scored. If a starter hands the rock off to a reliever at the end of the sixth inning, and the team is ahead by three or more runs, the lion share of these games will be won and the starter will get accredited with the victory.

Unknown said...

I welcome your forecasts. They resemble mine over the recent years. Last years DL plague had me going much more conservative. Secretly, I am thinking about two more wins per.

Reese Kaplan said...

Mine will run on Tuesday morning. Obviously a return to health is a necessity for success, but so too is a return to fundamentals.

Mack Ade said...

I'm working on mine today during the game.


Eddie Corona said...

I agree With Mack... Great Post...
How the Mets not sign Thor to a Chris Archer (Tampa bay style contract) is beyond me... Sign him to that Team friendly OMG I cannot believe how cheap we have him for contract...
He is young built like a OX and the biggest reason of all … He passed on the WBC (where he could be the biggest star) to prepare for his time with the METS… that worth 10 million bonus to me…

Eddie Corona said...

Oh and No one had more “SWAGGER” than the dark knight… But not being able to stay healthy negates all that… Makes you humble…Hopefully makes him hungry too…

Mack Ade said...

Eddie -

Doesn't Harvey's agent have like 10+ clients on the Nats?


bill metsiac said...

I like the optimism here, though I'm sure Reese will counterbalance it. 😉

72 Ws is IMO all we can expect from our rotation, leaving another 30+ for the #s 6 and 7, plus the pen.

My only concern about this roster is health. If everyone stays "basically" healthy (100% is only a dream), the division should be ours, possibly with 100+ Ws.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading this!
Let me be the 1st to say this?
Trade Harvey to the Yanks for Clint Frazier and Jorge Mateo

Mack Ade said...

could be excellent trade for both teams

Unknown said...

Except for perhaps signing Thor to a team friendly contract I wouldn't sign ANY player long term. I doubt many Met fans complained a few years ago when D. Wright was signed because "the team needed an identity" and who better than David to lead us to the promised land ....and how did that work out? I KNOW Sandy wouldn't have done it w/o a big push from the F.O. and when you think how that money could have been used instead...oh well water over the dam but please lets not repeat that disaster. I would much rather put the emphasis on solid scouting both on the draft and other teams players and when Degrom, Matz etc. are 2 years from free agent make the best deal possible. Richard I would love to talk to you about the Mets from time to time if it works for you..my email is seagren@verizon.net and anyone else reading this is welcome too. thanks

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