7/5/19

Reese Kaplan -- Sell. Sell! SELL!

9 comments


With the couple of recent come-from-behind victories, the Mets have managed to tap into that wellspring of optimism that resides in all fans of all sports, thinking that just a few breaks coming at the right time and in the right place can magically turn a franchise’s fortunes around.  There have been good signs for sure.  Edwin Diaz has looked like, well, Edwin Diaz.  Michael Conforto came through with a huge hit.  Robinson Cano is has quietly started heating up.  Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso keep rolling along.  Three injured relievers returned this week – Justin Wilson Luis Avilan and Jeurys Familia.  Why, if they can just string a few more wins together…


Well, enough with that crap!

Of course, this week was not without its typical Metsian madness.  First there was the whole well documented eulogies to two living members of the 1969 team honored on Saturday.  Then there was the case of Chris Mazza, who, in his rookie debut, pitches 4 innings of one-run ball and gets rewarded with a trip back to Syracuse.  Hey, front office and pitching gurus – who else in the bullpen has pitched to a 2.25 ERA this season?  Who in the starting rotation?  Who on your fantasy team?


The good news for the 29 year old Mazza is he’s now going to be  earning frequent Uber miles between Syracuse and Queens as he’s on the 40-man roster.  When injuries strike or trades occur, there is going to be the need for additional arms and the guys who get the first look at the ones who don’t require decisions to be made or paperwork to be filed. 

Speaking of which, the demotion of Steve Matz to the bullpen probably had less to do with his pitching than it did with the opportunity it gave to showcase impending free agent Zack Wheeler who is rewarded with an extra start between now and the All-Star break.  In the pecking order of starting pitchers available to trade, Zack Wheeler is front and center as the Mets stand to lose him for absolutely nothing at year end.  If he does depart, those innings have to come from somewhere, right Chris?  Mets fans have heard Wheeler state publicly that he intends to test the free agent marketplace, so there’s really no good business reason to keep him around.

There was a story in the press this week about three teams willing to overpay for the services of one Noah Syndergaard.  From a standpoint of pure “stuff” you could even make a reasonable case his raw talent exceeds that of Jacob deGrom (who better knows how to harness his own).  However, he’s going to be a free agent after 2020 and the front office needs to decide if they plan to extend him or lose him for nothing at the end of next season.  There’s not necessarily a compelling rush to make a deal since he has no leverage other than arbitration between now and then.  However, an acquiring team might be more inclined to deal for him sooner rather than later in order to have as much time as possible not only to enjoy what he does on the mound but also to establish a long term future through negotiation.  Mets fans would not be happy to see him go, but depending on what’s offered in return, they might live with it if BVW proves he has another bold move up his sleeve. 

The third member of the starting rotation likely available for the right price is the much maligned Jason Vargas who has somehow morphed from the love child of Doug Sisk and Oliver Perez into a more svelte Bartolo Colon who keeps getting it done without blowing the ball by anyone.  Oddly, he’s probably the least likely to go unless the team was overwhelmed with an offer since they hold a modestly priced option for him to return next year and there will be a lot of innings to fill if Wheeler and/or Syndergaard find themselves wearing new uniforms. 

Finally, the three-headed infusion of veteran bullpen talent (with questionable arms and shoulders) has some folks thinking the Mets might entertain peddling swingman Seth Lugo.  That one I find hard to swallow as he’s earning close to major league minimum and can’t be a free agent until 2023.  Granted, he’s arbitration-eligible for the first time next year, but realistically how high would his price go from the sub-$600K range?  Even a 400% increase would put him around $3 million and that would still be a relative bargain. 


On the offensive side of the ledger the big name to dangle continues to be Todd Frazier.  He’s hitting almost 20 points over his career average and Is on track to provide about 25 HRs for the season while providing good defense and intangibles.  His $9 million salary remains a sticking point but based upon WAR he’s more than earning it.  He’s a free agent at year’s end, so you would think it’s prudent to find someone to take him.  If he leaves, you could return Jeff McNeil to the infield and open up regular playing time for Dom Smith in the outfield, or you could figure out where J.D. Davis at minimum wage does the least defensive harm – this year’s version of Wilmer Flores (who apparently is getting a little more respect than did his predecessor).  Somewhere in a galaxy far, far away lurks Jed Lowrie as well. 

With the recent rash of player moves the happiest guy in the clubhouse had to be Juan Lagares who finds himself the last man standing now that Rajai David, Keon Broxton, Aaron Altherr and now Carlos Gomez have all been sent packing.  For folks willing to tolerate minimal offense in exchange for superior defense, he remains the only true outfielder on the depth chart after Conforto and McNeil.  Smith and Davis in the outfield will have some folks reaching for a Smith & Wesson.  Perhaps BVW is crazy like a fox in that by forcing Mickey Callaway to get him into more games by taking away the alternatives he is either going to get Lagares to start hitting or impress enough with his defense that someone would take him in exchange for the sunk cost of paying down most of his remaining exorbitant salary. 


Don’t get me wrong.  I’d be the happiest fan I know if by some 2019 miracle the Mets extricated themselves from their usual quagmire of irrelevance.  I just won’t bet on it.  Consequently I think the more prudent approach right now is to illuminate the “For Sale” sign and make others aware that there are players available in the right kinds of deals (read, not exclusively wild or sore-armed relief pitchers)

9 comments:

Tom Brennan said...

6.5 games out of the wild card, several teams ahead. Not insurmountable if the 3 pen returnees can really pitch like they are not damaged goods.

But if they don't sweep the Phils, the trade wheels ought to start turning.

A real shame, the way McNeil and Pete are playing. It would be great fun to see them in the playoffs.

Unknown said...

Lets hope BVW gets creative and gets Starling Marte, solves CF for the next 2+ years

Gary Seagren said...

The real problem is three fold: #1 BVW having to really admit to this disaster, #2 who the hell is going to pitch for us next year if Wheeler AND Thor are traded and #3 relying on Brodie to make these choice's is really scary. Another problem I just read about that I never thought of is his connection with other GM's which was questioned in the article...any of you guys know the answer to that?

Eddie Corona said...

Reese / Gary
What are these articles you guys referenced? I would be very interested in reading them... Especially about 3 team willing to over pay for THor...

As far as Trading them... Sell all of them... the only ones who should not be sold is Alonso, mcneil, Degrom and Conforto (debateable)

As far as who pitches next year, Vargas and wheeler woul dhave been gone anyway so the problem would still exist... but if you trade for High A and AA talent the leap isn't insurmountable as other team have no issues bringing guys up before AAA...

Target San Diego at all cost since they have the highest number of top prospects...
I would love to see THor in Tampa if we can get Wander Franco as part of that deal... And Maybe Thor could stick it to the Yankees too... WIN WIN in my eyes
But heck if we could have the yankees pay the Yankee tax and trade anyone to them with them overpaying I am ok with that too...

We will never be a big market team with this ownership so we need to win like the KC and well lie we did in 2015, with young cheap group that hits and pitches all together...
No sustainable winning just a "it comes all together group" But you need a bunch of talented player for that to happen

Reese Kaplan said...

https://www.nj.com/mets/2019/07/mlb-trade-rumors-3-teams-that-could-overpay-for-mets-noah-syndergaard.html

Mack Ade said...

(NOW they are starting to agree with me...)

bill metsiac said...

I know how you love small sample sizes, Reese, but even with that, posting the ERA of a player with all of FOUR INNINGS is carrying things too far.

And who says Wheeler will walk "for nothing"? He may yet be extended, but if not he should get a QO. If he accepts it, $18.5 is not too much to pay for a pitcher of his caliber.

Where's Tug when we need him? 😄

Reese Kaplan said...

No way the Mets make a QO for a pitcher with Wheeler's uneven track history.

Reese Kaplan said...

Also, earlier in the week I detailed the deeper dive into Mazza's AAA numbers which were quite good.

Mack's Mets © 2012