Reese Kaplan -- Rollin', Rollin', Rollin' on the River


First of all, take a deep breath and remind yourself that last night was just one game.  Also remind yourself that in addition to not being able to hit or field, Jose Reyes has now demonstrated he can't pitch either.  Yet he's still here...

Now onto your regularly scheduled whining...in your frustration, hostility and disgust with the ongoing inertia of the trading deadline period that's come and gone, it's time to ask yourselves a question.  When was the last time the Mets made a trade that was not about saving money?  I’ll give you a minute to ponder that…

During the current reign of terror from the front office post-Minaya, there was the salary dump of Carlos Beltran, the salary dump of R.A. Dickey, the salary dump of Curtis Granderson, the salary dump of Addison Reed, the salary dump of Neil Walker, the salary dump of Lucas Duda, the salary dump of Jeurys Familia, the salary dump of Asdrubal Cabrera, the salary dump of Jay Bruce (first time), the departure of Daniel Murphy, the departure of Tyler Clippard, the salary dump of Ike Davis, the salary dump (and PR disaster) of Frankie Rodriguez, the salary dump of Marlon Byrd and John Buck, and some would say even the departure of Justin Turner was financially motivated.

Try as I might, it’s hard to come up with times when trades were made about improving the club rather than saving money.  There is, of course, the Michael Fulmer to Detroit for Yoenis Cespedes move.  Kudos for that one.  (We’ll reserve the subsequent contract discussion for another day).  There was the addition of Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson in 2015.  There was the addition of Addison Reed and Tyler Clippard that same year.  Do you see a pattern here?  Add real talent that costs a little money and go to the World Series!  

Now on the free agent front, the Mets have indeed spent money, though not particularly wisely nor on the top available talents.  They’ve been burned many times, including Jason Bay, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Vargas, Frank Francisco, Jay Bruce and others.  Consequently I can see that window closing rapidly, too. 

It would seem then that the opportunity to replenish the farm system would come from dealing away the soon-to-be-expensive Jacob deGrom.  After all, as painful as it was to see the club trade Tom Seaver, they did get a rookie-of-the-year in Pat Zachry, a rookie-of-the-year candidate in Steve Henderson, a gold glove 2nd baseman in Doug Flynn and the throw-in of Dan Norman.  Three out of four contributed, but never got out from under the fan and media fury of the deal which was done to spite Seaver at the behest of the club owner.  deGrom could have netted a similar haul, perhaps even more in today’s economic climate, but the club sticks to its failed agenda of, “Wait ‘til next year” in the hopes of sustaining the season ticket model and the sale of jerseys. 

Once again the club also stubbornly refused to pay down any of the salaries of departing players to up the returns received.  Consequently they got more mediocre stat pitchers when the biggest problem they have is scoring runs for the pitchers they already have.  Jacob deGrom has a league leading ERA and a losing record because a 1-0 lead often proves insurmountable, yet what they continually ask for and receive in return are hard throwing pitchers of dubious pedigree who can’t find the plate and who won’t solve the endemic problem of the anemic offense. 

The only action on Tuesday’s trading deadline was another scrap heap pickup, though surprisingly for someone not yet sporting gray hair.  The Mets signed speedy gloveman Jack Reinheimer.  He can’t hit a lick, so he’ll fit right in.  With the promotion of Luis Guillorme and Levi Michael hitting well, it makes perfect Metsian sense to bring in another shortstop.  I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much.  When was the last time the Mets cared about baserunning or defense?

Well, as Tom Brennan and I exchanged hypothetical lyrics to “Meet the Mess”, all you can do is remind yourself who is in charge and then it all makes sense.  Winning doesn’t matter as long as those turnstiles keep on turnin’.  Proud Mary keep on burnin’.

Oh, and one final thought...how many of you read the piece in which John Ricco, head Stooge, was quoted as saying they don't know which way they're headed (in terms of rebuild or retool).  They don't know what they're doing?  Who'da thunk it?  They say admitting you have a problem is the first step on the road to recovery...


bob gregory said...

For a real baseball organization that strives to logically improve itself, there can only be 1 resulting strategy born from the refusal to cash in on the highest value deGrom will ever have.

That would be a drastic money commitment to 2019.

I say drastic because there are more holes on the Mets than commenters and reporters admit to.

1st base: Alonzo as AAA player can not be counted on.

2nd base: should be covered between Flores and others.

SS: covered with Rosario

3rd: can not count on Frazier as this year has proven

Cf: Nimmo, covered

RF: Conforto, covered? Will Conforto become consistent? Plenty of hope and "should bes", but a full year has not been demonstrated yet.

LF: Cespedes, Bruce, and Lagares can not be counted on.

C: none proven

SP: 4 slots filled. 5th slot open as well as 6th and 7th that every year has proven to be a necessity.

Closer: needed

Relief: 2 probably needed.

That leaves needs at 1st, 3rd, OF (starter and 4th of), Catcher, Closer, 3 SP (including 6th and 7th options), 2 RP.

This also leaves a lot of wasted or unreliable payroll sitting around in Cespedes, Bruce, Frazier, & Vargas.

In order to, according to the Wilpons/Ricco "commitment" to contend, payroll will be in need of a major spike.
Anything less is yet another half-hearted moronic effort.

Viper said...

As I have often asked here, "Tell me what the Mets do right, except scr&&wing up" with no answer.

I too read that quote from Ricco and could only shake my head in disgust. The Stooges, 3 headed Imbeciles, the 3 Amigos could not see the wisdom of trading deGrom when he will never be worth more. Instead, they will keep him and not sign him to an extension as they should once they decided not to trade him.

Being a Mets fan these days is about not having any hope. Is about re-defining new lows every day while the Wilpon leeches continue to suck the life out of this team.

Now they are again trying to sell us the 2019 season by keeping the pitching intact and expecting the same failed players to bounce back. What a joke of an organization. Is not good enough to be bad, they have to make sure that they are the worse team to root for in the entire ML.

Gary Seagren said...

Inept: having or showing no skill, incompetent, unskilled, amateurish which pretty much sums it up so the question really is why are we still fans of this team?

Thomas Brennan said...

I sure wish Ricco had traded Matz now, don't you? That starting pitcher "core" may turn out to be a rotten core. Matz has been deeply disappointing since he started his Mets career winning 10 of his first 11 decisions.

The Mets rallied valiantly last night, only to fall 21 runs short. I'm proud of that rally, aren't you?

Jose Reyes can't pitch, either.

Jose Reyes has 1 more RBI than Tanner Roark.

There must be some team out there that realizes that Jose Reyes is the missing piece in their World Series run.

Would ANY other team still have Jose Reyes on its roster?

Gary, I think Pete Alonso will be fine. Another few hundred minor league at bats will get him there.

Reese Kaplan said...

Well, the Astros apparently have no compunction about adding wife-beaters to their roster...give them a call about Reyes. They missed out on Familia, but did fortify their bullpen with Roberto Osuna.

Hobie said...

well, there's a "let's loose on purpose for a higher draft choice" crowd on here. This is what that looks like. Happy?

Mack Ade said...

The bottom line... here is your current 2019 team:

1B - undetermined

2B - undetermined

SS - Rosario

3B - Frazier

C - undetermined

OF - Nimmo

OF - Conforto

OF - undetermined

SP1-4 - set

SP5 - undetermined

RP - Drew Smith

Rest of pen - undetermined

bob gregory said...

Doesn't leave many options for realistically "contending" as Wilpon/Ricco set as their goal.

Even if the payroll is allowed to go over $200 million, I'm not sure there are even enough impactful free agents at needed positions to create a contender.

Reese Kaplan said...

Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Anthony Swarzak and Jenrry Mejia are all probably in that bullpen mix already.

bob gregory said...

Thinking in regards to the lineup:

1. Nimmo
2. Conforto?
3. Nobody
4. Nobody
5. ?
6. Frazier
7. Rosario
8. ?

Adding to the expense of building a contender is the fact that the heart of the lineup will require replacing.

Middle of the order batters that have good batting averages (please let's not fall for the failed OBP focus again) and good defense, are going to the most expensive free agents.

What options are there for 3rd & 4th place hitter available this winter at a needed position?

Machado: would have to convince him to be the 3rd baseman (added bonus Frazier becomes a bench player, but opens another hole in the 6th place of the batting order)

Bryce Harper: certainly has the talent, but struggling this year and I would avoid because the Mets do not need any more injury prone players.

Donaldson: 33 yrs old. Could be an option at 1st but would want too lengthy of a contract to justify.

A.J. Pollock: nice choice, but beware 31 yrs old.

So, how much $$ would it take to convince Machado and Pollock to sign on the dotted line and form the 3rd and 4th place heart of the batting order?

$50+ million total annually?

Where does that put the total payroll?

Remember: there are still multiple holes in the batting order/field positions, closer, Starting Pitching, and Bullpen.

bob gregory said...

What a surprise, Matz is suffering from forearm tightness.

Given the pitching staff history, will this be another reconstructive elbow surgery candidate?

Another example of why building around pitching in the post steroid era is questionable.

Mack's Mets © 2012