11/22/17

Reese Kaplan -- Gambling on the Rule V Draft

20 comments

While a great many of us think we know a lot more about how to run a successful baseball franchise than do the people who are being paid to do so, the fact is that there are some difficult choices that will always leave the decisionmaker open to second guessing.  On Monday was one of those occasions when you watched the Mets decide who to retain on the 40-man roster, who to protect from the upcoming Rule V draft and who not to protect.  With a precious five spots available on the roster the Mets chose to shield just four from being exposed to changing teams. 

On the surface, that was a little surprising since in the lower minors the Mets have some talent that was worthy of consideration such as Adonis Uceta.  The calculated risk is that players who have not been above the A-ball level would likely not be picked by another club as it is a reasonable expectation they would not last the entire season on the receiving club’s major league roster. 

Of course, the flip side to that seemingly logical argument is that they chose to give one of those 40-man roster spots to A-ball hurler Gershon Bautista.  Here I think there was more afoot, primarily not wanting to wind up with egg on your face by losing a guy who put up some pretty gaudy numbers after coming over from the Red Sox as part of the Addison Reed deal. 

Tyler Bashlor is a bit more understandable as he did actually spend some time in Binghamton and is two years older and ostensibly more experienced than Bautista.  He also had a superior season overall, so there are no arguments from anyone for choosing to protect him.

Luis Guillorme has drawn parallels to Rey Ordonez for his magical glove.  He did hit well in the Arizona Fall League -- .289 to be precise -- which is actually right on par with his minor league career average of .285.  The problem with his game has been his anemic ability to drive the ball.  He has just 2 home runs in over 2000 plate appearances.  He had one outlier year in 2015 for Savannah when he stole 18 bases, but he has been at 6 or fewer in every other season.  As a comparison, Ordonez hit just .255 in the minors so perhaps there is a little more potential for a solid career.  Ordonez won 3 straight Gold Gloves and lasted 9 seasons.  I cruelly compared him to Ruben Tejada who was a .273 minor league hitter who, like Guillorme, stole some bases once upon a time but then seemingly gave up that part of his game.  He did manage to club 23 home runs over 2500 minor league plate appearances, so he was Ruthian by comparison to Guillorme.  Still, I can understand the logic of having a potential Gold Glove fielder who can offensively keep his head above water as a potential player in the future or a trade chip down the road.

It also makes perfect sense to protect your minor league pitcher of the year, Corey Oswalt, who put together a sensational season for Binghamton.  When you turn in an entire season with an ERA of just 2.28 that’s a no-brainer.

However, for a club that is seemingly forever pinching pennies, it would seem a good way to economize for the future and to build up your limited arsenal of trade chips would be to protect people who MIGHT be part of a long term solution rather than hanging onto those folks who have already shown that they are likely not. 

Towards that end, would outrighting Matt Reynolds or Josh Smoker or some others on the bubble have been a smarter decision?  That way even if an Ucetas or a Mickey Jannis don’t factor into your future plans in Queens, they’d still be guaranteed to be in the fold for trades down the road. 

Well, there is a silver lining to this puzzling strategy.  The Mets left one 40-man roster spot open.  That means either they could be scrap heap shopping when the Rule V draft occurs much like they did when they picked Sean Gilmartin a few years ago and were rewarded with a season of 50 game appearances and a 2.67 ERA. 

Of course, the more exciting aspect of the empty roster slot is the possibility of signing a free agent.  Don’t think Jake Arrieta or Wade Davis or J.D. Martinez.  Still, it will make for some good Hot Stove fodder until after the December winter meetings and Rule V draft conclude on December 13th

So what do you think of how the Mets handled their roster?

20 comments:

Eddie Corona said...

Rease you are completely right ... both smoker and Reynolds should have been taken off the 40 man and both Uceta and Jannis should have been protected...
Why send Jannis to the Arizona league? To fail? He did well and now you don’t protect him?
If by chance and with the Mets very likely we suffer another year of rash injuries to the pitchers wouldn’t you want a Jannis who could throw a Ton of innings

bill metsiac said...

Why is Jannis subject to the draft? He was as a FA only 2 years ago or so. Don't players have to be in the system longer than that to be draftable?

bill metsiac said...

That should read "signed as..."

Mack Ade said...

My guess is, right now, Reynolds is on the 40 man because he currently is the fifth outfielder on the depth chart

Mack Ade said...

Bill -

I have seen this kind of non decisions before (Uceta, Jannis).

My guess is a trade is in the works.

Thomas Brennan said...

If you put Uceta on the 40 man roster, don't Uceta precedent?

Sorry, some bad, pre-turkey humor. Lest I forget later, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

TexasGusCC said...

Jannis pitched for St. Lucie and Binghamton in 2015, so he's been in the system three years. Signed just before his 25th birthday as a free agent - after being drafted in 2010 by Tampa and being released - he was able to be protected three years.

bill metsiac said...

There might be, but isn't the 40 "frozen" until the draft?

Reese Kaplan said...

I don't buy the 5th outfielder argument, Mack. Would a minor-league deal FA pickup like last year's Desmond Jennings be WORSE than Matt Reynolds?

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

You have no pre-season turkey humor.

You are all ham.

Mack Ade said...

Bill -

I am not sure if your last comment was for me, but, if it was, no one is frozen on the 40 if they are traded away.

I look for 3 player trade for a second baseman sometime in the next 10 days.

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

I agree that there are a 1000 better options than Reynolds as a fifth outfielder, but all I am saying is "I guess" that the Mets mentally have him on their board as the CURRENT fifth outfielder.

This can all change if Reynolds is traded.

Hobie said...

Bill-

I think the 40-man world is frozen, but not for a particular club.

1.e. the Mets could trade Harvey & Smith for Longaria if TB had space on their 40, but if that trade included a Rule 5 eligible guy (say Jannis), he could not be added to TB's 40 even if they had room.

Right now the Mets have room to obtain some one already on somebody else's 40.

Bill Metsiac said...

Yes, of course trades can be made, but as far as I know, no other prospects can be promoted to the 40 to protect them.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, my first cell phone was a ham radio.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

Breaker, breaker...

Thomas Brennan said...

What's up, good buddy...not wins or attendance.

Ed Marcus said...

This thread ain’t kosher

Bill Metsiac said...

Confusing, but it seems like it won't affect the protected list.
Thanks, Hobie.

Reese Kaplan said...

THe conclusion I draw from Hobie's comment is that not many multi-player deals will take place until after December 13th when the Rule V draft takes place and the clubs are then free to make changes. One-for-one or two-for-one could happen if there was space but bigger deals will be someone's Christmas present.

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