Mack's Morning Report - 6-19 - 2018 RF


Good morning.

The construction of my 2018 Mets continue…

Let’s review.

So far, I have:

            SP: (5) – Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz, Lucas Giolito
            RP (4) – Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Jerry Blevens
            1B (1) - Eric Hosmer/Dominic Smith
            IF (3) – Manny Machado, Amed Rosario, Wilmer Flores
            OF (2) – Michael Conforto, Yoenes Cespedes
            C (2) – Jonathan Lucroy/Carson Kelly/Travis d’Arnaud, Rene Rivera (UT)

17 players… 9 to go… 3 outfielders, 2 infielders, and 3 more relief pitchers.

Let’s move on to Right Field and the two utility outfield positions -

            Current Options

Jay Bruce – I ruled Bruce out as my 2018 first baseman; however, he could still be the backup at that position if I resign him to play right field. He deserves major consideration for this job. He’s on a 30+ home run pace this year and most of them were hit giving the Mets a lead. He’ll never win a Golden Glove at either of these positions, but having him as one of my top six hitters in the lineup with Machado, Conforto, and Cespedes, does have it’s attraction.

Curtis Granderson – I’m very happy and honored that Granderson has been part of this team. He’s represented the team well throughout the community. I know he’s not going to retire so I can’t start a goodbye tour at the end of the season. All I can do is try and find a home for him at the all-star break. He will not be part of my 2018 team.

Juan Lagares – I remember how thrilled I was when the Mets extended Lagares with his current ‘cheap’ contract. I thought this was going to work out much better than it has. I have no problem living with the last two years of this deal. He’s an outstanding team player who has won us a golden Glove in centerfield. What he isn’t is a candidate for a starting outfielder. I think he’ll be part of my team, but I’ll probably shop him around this summer anyway and possibly add him as a chip in a multiple player deal. I’ll come back to him at the end.

Brandon Nimmo – I wish Nimmo had a better season this year for Las Vegas. I still think of his as only a potential backup outfielder, but I welcome him to change my mind. His limited success so far this season, and his injury history, will probably prevent any team from currently desiring the services of Brandon. I’ll add him to the shopping list, but I can’t help but feel that I will eventually have to make a decision on which team he should play for next season. I don’t want to keep embarrassing him by sending him back to Vegas. I’ll revisit this later.
            ‘Other’ Free Agents (research by MLB.com ) -

J.D. Martinez.  After suffering a foot injury on March 18th, Martinez made his 2017 Tigers debut last Friday.  He’s clubbed five homers in six games since then, so I’d say his foot is fine.  Martinez, 30 in August, may establish himself as the top free agent bat and move higher in these rankings.

Justin Upton.  Upton has posted a fine season so far, with a .248/.368/.504 line in 144 plate appearances.  Interestingly, he’s drawn a walk in 15.3% of plate appearances, though he’s never reached 12% in a full season and bottomed out at 8% last year.  Upton’s newfound selectivity and move toward becoming a Three True Outcomes hitter has been a net positive.  If he posts another 30 home run season but draws 90 walks instead of 50-60, Upton may be compelled to opt out of the remaining four years and $88MM on his Tigers contract.

Trade candidates

            I want a new centerfielder.

                        Here’s the top 10 (stat wise as of 6-9) centerfields currently in baseball, the length of their current contract, and players in their team’s pipeline that could be blocked (again with research by John Sickels) –

                                   Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels – 25/yrs. old - .337/.461/.742/1203 – Contract through 2020
                                                           Blocked 2018 guppies - none

Charlie Blackmon – Colorado – 30/yrs. old - .337/.380/.619/999 – Free agent 2019
                        Blocked guppies –

Raimel Tapia, OF, Grade B/B+: Age 22, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2010; hit .328/.361/.458 with 23 steals, 27 walks, 61 strikeouts in 528 at-bats in Double-A/Triple-A, then .263/.293/.263 in 38 major league at-bats; best tool is speed, 60-grade; has some wiry strength but home run power won’t be a huge factor in his game; can handle center short-term but power would be stretched at a corner; could also use more patience to boost OBP but should hit for average. ETA 2017.

Ender Inciarte – Atlanta – 26/yrs. old - .306/.362/.427/.789 – Contract through 2021, team option 2022
                        Blocked 2018 guppies - none

Leury Garcia – CWS – 26/yrs. old - .296/.348/.462/.809 – Team control through 2020, FA 2021
                        Blocked 2018 guppies - none

Kevin Pillar – Toronto – 28/yrs. old - .269/.328/.440/768 – Team control through 2020, FA 2021
                        Blocked 2018 guppies –

Harold Ramirez, OF, Grade C+: Age 21, signed by Pirates out of Colombia in 2011; came over at the deadline; hit .311/.360/.407 with 22 walks, 66 strikeouts in 383 at-bats in Double-A; hits .300 constantly with steady line drive swing but hits few homers despite 5-10, 220-pound body; gets hurt a lot and speed, arm limit him to left field, a tough profile given his lack of home run power. ETA 2018.

Christian Yelich – Miami – 25/yrs. old - .267/.348/.406/754 – Contract through 2021
                        Blocked 2018 guppies –

Austin Dean, OF, Grade C+/C: Age 23, 4th round pick in 2012 from high school in Texas, hit .238/.307/.375 with 11 homers. 48 walks, 110 strikeouts in 480 innings in Double-A; numbers aren’t terrific but he scouts better in person, at least in terms of raw power, strong enough to hit 15-20 homers at maturity; will draw some walks as well but can be streaky and defensive limitations (his arm and range make him a LF) add pressure for more offensive development. ETA 2018.

Destin Hood, OF, Grade C+/C: Age 26, former second round pick by Nationals back in 2008; hit .267/.316/.435 with 15 homers, 11 steals, 37 walks, 113 strikeouts in 476 at-bats in Triple-A, then went 6-for-25 (.240) with a double and a homer in the majors; tools player held back by injuries and pitch recognition issues for several years but has made enough progress to be in the picture as a role player; now entering the age 27-28 window when “surprise” seasons become a bit less of a surprise. ETA 2017.

Andrew Benintendi – Boston – 22/yrs. old - .267/.338/.419/.757 – Team control through 2022
                        Blocked 2018 guppies - none

Lorenzo Cain – Kansas City – 31/yrs. old -.262/.343/.388/731 – Free agent in 2018
                        Blocked guppies –

Jorge Bonifacio, OF, Grade B-: Age 23, hit .277/.361/.466 with 19 homers, 51 walks, 130 strikeouts in 495 at-bats in Triple-A; has finally learned to tap his raw power more consistently but contact and batting average are going to be issues when he reaches the majors; right now looks like a .240-.250, 20 homersish hitter but still young enough to develop further; 60-grade outfield arm and average range make him a right fielder. ETA: 2017.

Manuel Margot – San Diego – 22/yrs. old - .259/.305/.389/694 – Team control through 2022
                        Blocked guppies

Hunter Renfroe, OF, Grade B+/B: Age 25, first round pick in 2013 out of Mississippi State; hit .306/.336/.557 with 30 homers, 22 walks, 115 strikeouts in 533 at-bats in Triple-A, then .371/.389/.800 in 35 major league at-bats; he’s not a .300 hitter in a full season and may have trouble breaching .250 due to persistent contact concerns, but 70-grade power is legit, 25-30 homers possible even if OBP holds back overall offensive value; classic right fielder with strong throwing arm and good-enough range; ETA 2017.

Adam Jones – Baltimore – 31/yrs. old - .259/.300/.436/737 – Contract through 2018

                        Blocked guppies
Anthony Santander, OF, Grade B- Age 22, hit .290/.368/.494 with 42 doubles, 20 homers, 54 walks, 118 strikeouts in 500 at-bats in Low-A; from Venezuela, signed by Indians in 2011; selected by Orioles in Rule 5 draft; switch-hitter with 60/70 grade power; a few issues with contact and swing consistency but controls zone reasonably; may not hit for high averages at highest levels but power should carry forward; good throwing arm, classic right field profile; I like him a lot but health status unclear following fall shoulder surgery; has to stick on the roster due to Rule 5 and could be stashed on DL. ETA 2017.

Aneury Tavarez, OF, Grade C+: Age 24, signed by Red Sox out of Dominican Republic in 2010; hit .335/.379/.508 with 19 doubles, 13 triples, 18 steals, 29 walks, 64 whiffs in 385 at-bats in Double-A; selected by Orioles in Rule 5 draft and has to stick on the roster; prototype fourth outfielder with slashing contact lefty bat, 60-grade speed, solid-average defensive ability, sparks of gap power; should be useful as a role player. ETA 2017.

So, what have I come up for trade possibilities? Absolutely nothing.

So, here's what I do...

1.  I go balls to the wall for the services of Martinez. 3-year deal, a team option for a 4th, and tons of moolah. He's 29-years old and is currently hitting around .300 with double digit homers

2. If I can't sign Martinez, I stay with Bruce for a 2-year deal. Sorry Bruce haters... he's the 2nd best out there.

3. I can't see any possibility of finding someone to take over the last two years of Lagares' contract, so I will keep him as my OF4 

4. And lastly, before dipping into the waiver ticker, I will let Brandon Nimmo and Victor Cruzado battle it out in spring training for the 5th slot.

So, my three open outfield positions would be:

    RF:  J.D. Martinez/Jay Bruce
    OF4:  Juan Lagares
    OF5:  Brandon Nimmo/Victor Cruzado

I've got 20 players now and am missing 2 more infielders and 3 more relievers.

On to Thursday...



Thomas Brennan said...

JD Martinez looks like a guy to get for sure. He has had his share of injuries. What is the story with that?

Mack Ade said...

His ability to be often injured makes him a perfect fit for this organization.

One option could be we would place him immediately on the disabled list the day of the trade.

Thomas Brennan said...

Right on the disabled list and get it all out of the way up front....like it! We need above all a stenosis-free signing.

Reese Kaplan said...

I had targeted both Martinez and Moustakas as FA acquisitions in my GM meanderings.

Thomas Brennan said...

Phil Mushnik wrote this - seems very true to me, and time to stop being stupid on the part of the braintrusts:

On SNY, the Mets faced a familiar fee-fi foe, Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer. Scherzer’s a strikeout guy — 17 against the Mets in a no-hitter two seasons ago — who throws first-pitch strikes.

So the Mets did what they always do against Scherzer: They looked at first-pitch strikes. They stood and watched the most predictable pitch Scherzer throws, the one they’re most likely to hit, as if their plan, again, was to attack Scherzer by getting behind in the count.

In the fourth, Gary Cohen repeated a graphic showing Scherzer had thrown 11 of 12 first-pitch strikes. Okay, so then why weren’t the Mets, yet again, prepared to swing at his first pitch? Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez didn’t bring that up.

The Nats were prepared to swing at first-pitch strikes. They took a 1-0 lead on Matt Wieters’ home run on a Steven Matz first pitch, while the Mets again tried to wear Scherzer down by getting behind and then striking out.

Dave Schulps said...

I was sitting at home shaking my head and thinking the same thing. "Why aren't they being aggressive? Why are they letting him get ahead of them? Surely next inning they'll come out swinging." Never happened. Just stunning.

Thomas Brennan said...

Sandy's "work the pitcher" stratagem is like any other stratagem - mix it up and be more successful.

If Max thinks they won't swing at pitch #1, then do swing at fat pitch # 1. Keep Max guessing.

Robb said...


I know what youre doign here and appreciate it. its a good read. I cant get past the machado bit. I just dont believe he's getting traded here.

that being said, Billy hamilton would be a nice addition to the Mets in CF. I think he's going to get a nice raise in arb this year and isnt really important to Cin.

Hobie said...

Glad to see VC get a mention :-)

If Legares is traded, he certainly should be in the mix for No.5 (switch-hitter, plays all 3 OF).

Thomas Brennan said...

Billy Hamilton is a successful version of Champ Stuart. He would add a very interesting element to the Mets - RAW SPEED.

Mack Ade said...

Robb -

I agree that I am only dreaming when I come to Machado, but it's my dream.

I'm just trying to come up with interesting stuff to throw around on the blog.

BTW, I too would love Hamilton.

Mack's Mets © 2012