John From Albany – Mets News and Breakfast Links 10/20/2020



Good Morning. Happy Birthday Keith Hernandez, Rick Ownbey, Jonathan Hurst, and Brooklyn Outfielder Kenny Taylor. SNY thinks the Mets will have payroll to spare, and the World Series starts tonight.

Section Links: Mets Links, MLB Links, Winter Baseball, and This Day in Mets History.

Mets Links:

SNY.TV: Analyzing the Mets' payroll situation for 2021 and beyond. Danny Abriano projects a $134 million payroll with $76 million to spend under the luxury tax.

Reflections on Baseball: The Mets Are Off The Back Pages Drawing Up A Plan For 2021. Yes, finally!

Rising Apple: Mets Monday Morning GM: Again, thank you for not trading Dominic Smith.

Metsmerized Online: 2020 MMO Report Card: Dominic Smith. Primary Stats: 50 G, 199 PA, 10 HR, 42 RBI, 14 BB , 45 SO, .316 BA, .377 OBP, .616 SLG, .993 OPS.

The Sports Daily - Mike Phillips' Mets Player Review Series: Miguel Castro.

Empire Sports Media: New York Mets Player Evaluations: Infielder Luis Guillorme. “Guillorme finally got a chance to play every day from August 11 through September 1 and took full advantage of it. In 12 games (11 starts), he slashed .469/.550/.563 with three doubles, seven walks, and eight strikeouts.”

Mets360: Should the Mets consider trading Jeff McNeil?

Metsmerized Online: Despite Shortened Season, Amed Rosario Can’t Shake This Trend.  Armed has struggled in the first half of seasons.

Mets Daddy: Hopefully Mets See Defense Will Win 2020 World Series.

Metsmerized Online: Fan Shot: The Case For Acquiring Francisco Lindor.

Rising Apple: Francisco Lindor trade proposal on social media has fans divided.

Ernest Dove The Sports Report: Ernest talks about Mets Top Prospects Ronny Mauricio, Francisco Alvarez, Matthew Allan, and more.


MLB Links:

MLB Trade Rumors: TB-LA World Series Game 1 FAQ (8 ET, FOX).

MLB Trade Rumors: Dodgers Name Clayton Kershaw Starter For Game 1.

MLB Trade Rumors: Rays Name Glasnow, Snell Starters For First Two Games Of World Series.

MLB.com: Experts pick World Series winner, MVP.

MLB.com: Rays-Dodgers: World Series position analysis.

MLB.com: Friedman called this World Series 6 years ago.

MLB Trade Rumors: Tigers Interview Pirates Bench Coach Don Kelly For Managerial Position.

MLB Trade Rumors: Nationals Hire Jim Hickey As Pitching Coach.

ESPN.com: Ex-Astros GM Jeff Luhnow again denies role in Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal.

ESPN.com: World Series 2020: Cody Bellinger's October heroics started with a text from his dad. “Then, after the Atlanta Braves took a commanding 3-1 series lead, he [ex-big leaguer Clay Bellinger] sent Cody a text. He felt his son was suddenly becoming too passive within the strike zone. The message: Get in the box, be the man, see what happens.”

Yahoo Sports: NLCS Game 7: Cody Bellinger dislocates shoulder celebrating go-ahead home run.

Yahoo Sports: Ranking the worst Atlanta sports losses, from Game 7 to 28-3.

Winter Baseball:

Baseball Mexico Blog: The Mexican Pacific League opened its 2020-21 season last Thursday with a full slate of five games, four with fans in the stands.

Today in Mets History Per Ultimatemets.com:

Born on this date:

Died on this date:


New York Mets traded 
Al Jackson and Charley Smith to the St. Louis Cardinals for Ken Boyer on October 20, 1965.

New York Mets sold Larry Bearnarth to the Milwaukee Brewers on October 20, 1970.

New York Mets sold Ron Taylor to the Montreal Expos on October 20, 1971.

New York Mets released Ken Takahashi on October 20, 2009.

Amazing Avenue: Revisiting the Mets’ four-game sweep of the Cubs in the 2015 NLCS.

National Pastime.com:


Joining the AFL’s New York Jets and the Apollo 11 astronauts, the Mets become the third group this year honored with a ticker-tape parade on Broadway. Additionally, the World Champions attend three rallies throughout the Big Apple, with hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers enjoying the day-long festivities.















































Baseball Reference:

1973 - Reggie Jackson of the Oakland Athletics has RBI doubles in the 1st and 3rd innings to lead Oakland to a 3 - 1 victory over the New York Mets in Game 6 of the World Series.


2015: The Mets beat the Cubs, 5 - 2, to take a three games to none lead in the NLCSDaniel Murphy homers in his fifth consecutive postseason game, tying a major league record, while Jacob deGrom overcomes a rocky 1st inning to pick up his third win of the playoffs.


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Mets360 - Should the Mets consider trading Jeff McNeil?



By Joe Vasile October 19, 2020

Since his call up in the 2017 season, Jeff McNeil has quickly made his mark on the New York Mets. Even as he has garnered headlines for his strong hitting, knobless bat and defensive adventures around the diamond, it almost feels like he still is one of the more underrated players in the game.

In only 248 games played, McNeil has accumulated 9.2 bWAR, tied with Todd Hundley for 33rd all-time in Mets history. He is ahead of such names as Lucas DudaRon Hunt and Rusty Staub. His .319/.383/.501 career batting line is good for a 139 wRC+. He has been excellent, and one of the real bright spots on two Mets teams that have disappointed. There are no more questions if McNeil is the real deal.

Assuming an on-time start to the 2021 season, McNeil willmstill be only 28 on Opening Day, and won’t be eligible for free agency until 2025. He’s a high-end lefty hitter in his prime making a pre-arbitration salary who can passably play defense at three positions. Players like McNeil are not only on championship teams, but are the reason championship teams are championship teams.

It is obvious that McNeil fits in with the Mets moving forward, especially with the pending sale to Steve Cohen promising changes in how the team will try to compete. The question is how and where does he fit in?

McNeil’s primary defensive position for the past two years has been left field, but it’s hard to imagine keeping him there being the best thing for the team. That’s not necessarily a knock on his abilities, but rather more that left needs to be Brandon Nimmo’s home. With how Dominic Smith hit in 2020, it’s hard to imagine him not being penciled in as the DH in 2021, assuming that change is made permanent.

Even with Steve Cohen’s deep pockets, it’s hard to see the Mets benching Robinson Cano in favor of McNeil in 2021. That is especially true since Cano just put up his best offensive season since 2014 and is going to be chasing down 3,000 hits. As long as he can still be serviceable with the glove and he hits his weight, I don’t see Cano losing his starting role next year.

For the immediate future, third base seems to be the best choice for McNeil. He has shown the ability to handle the position defensively and has a bat which plays at third. J.D. Davis’ disappointing season in 2020 perfectly opens the door for a change, and outside of a 36-year-old Justin Turner there aren’t any intriguing names in free agency. That is unless the Mets go big and sign DJ LeMahieu and move him to the hot corner.

So, there it is, problem solved. McNeil is your everyday third baseman. But of course, it’s not that simple.

For the past several years, the Mets utter lack of pitching depth has come back to bite them. There are very good pitchers available both as starters and relievers as free agents this season. But if the Mets want to bring in a pitcher or two with a trade, it might be worth considering parting with McNeil.

Continue reading by clicking here. 


Mike's Mets - A Hero Is Not Required




As we get closer and closer to Steve Cohen taking over the New York Mets, we also get closer to finally getting concrete answers on how the Mets might operate under his stewardship. Those of us who follow the team closely grew to be able to predict quite accurately how things would go when the Wilpons were running things. Hell, I only wish they would have surprised me a little more often. I always expected the worst from them and they almost always delivered. Cohen, on the other hand, is an unknown at this point. There is plenty of speculation on what he might do, based on what is known about how he runs his hedge fund business, but nobody will really know exactly how things will go until we get to see the Cohen owned Mets in action.

In a way, that's pretty convenient for projecting your own feelings of how the Mets should be run onto all of that unknown. Hey, it would be really smart if the Mets did this thing. Cohen is a really smart guy, so I'm sure they will do that thing once he's running the show. I've indulged in that kind of thinking plenty on this blog. I try to base it as much as possible in factual information, such as what we can read about his business philosophy now, but I can't pretend to have any special insight into the guy. One thing's for sure, though. For someone who cares about Mets baseball as much as I do, and has spent decades watching the Wilpons muck things up so completely, it's a healthy dose of sweet fresh air to indulge fact-based hope on things being done the right way at last.

When articles come out like Mike Puma's in the New York Post last week, "Steve Cohen to blow up Wilpons' 'archaic' Mets technology", it feeds that need in me to project intelligence and competence into future Mets moves. A big takeaway from the piece is that sources are telling Puma that Cohen expects to lose about $400 million on the team over the first two years of his ownership. That alone is a good reason for Cohen to have been selected out of all the bids to buy the team.

After Cohen was selected to enter into sole negotiations to buy the club, Alex Rodriguez said that his group had set $300 million aside that wasn't part of the purchase price to cover losses and ensure that the Mets could run higher payrolls at the beginning. But given the tough financial situation the Mets were in before the pandemic hurt, the resulting losses from this strange season without fans, and the continued uncertainty for at least next season, that might have been a tough thing for his group to do while taking on so much debt just to buy the club. I worried that if A-Rod's group came out on top there would have been a huge temptation for them to put what money they did have into obvious fan-facing places such as payroll, while potentially ignoring so many of the other places that the Wilpons left the Mets deficient.

We just witnessed a couple of great playoff series wrap up last night. The two teams that came up on top, the Rays and the Dodgers, built success on having a tremendous team organization that enables them to draft and develop well and make smarter choices when they sign major league players, too. Of course, they differ greatly in how much money they have at their disposal to spend on the major league roster, which led them to quite different routes to eventual success. Still, the overall intelligence and sheer competence driving both clubs is something that Mets fans could only look at with envy under Wilpon ownership. The lesson learned from so many years with Fred and Jeff calling the shots was that there was virtually zero hope that the Mets could replicate those efforts.

When you look at the Braves, the team that took the Dodgers to a 7th game but wound up falling short, you see another team that. at least currently, is way better set up to win in upcoming seasons than the Mets. Really, at least right now, so are the Marlins. The Phillies have had some problems taking the talent they have developed and supplementing it properly with the right additional pieces, but even now have to be at least on an equal footing with the Mets going forward. Whichever of the two clubs makes smarter moves over upcoming seasons is likely to come out ahead. And even the Nationals, who are clearly in need of a rebuild in the short term, have some really exciting young players to build a new contender around. The Nats also have been better run than the Mets in recent years.

With the Marlins no longer being run as a scam to defraud the city of Miami and the game of baseball, the Mets were in real danger of being the worst team in the NL East over the next couple of seasons, maybe longer, particularly if Washington avoids a full rebuild. The franchise was essentially screaming out for someone to ride in and save them from that fate. Only a new owner with both plenty of cash, a real desire to win and a penchant for seeking to run his business with forward thinking intelligence was going to interrupt that descending trajectory the Mets were on.

That's precisely why Steve Cohen is being looked at with so much hope by people like myself who really care about what happens here. It wasn't bad luck that has held the Mets down for so long, it was short-sighted, backward-looking management by folks who had absolutely no clue at all how to change things for the better.

A friend was teasing me recently about Steve Cohen, asking me if I thought Cohen was a "good guy", and if I believed the multi-billionaire actually cared about me personally. My answers were, respectively, I don't care and of course not. I'm not looking for a personal hero, I'm looking for someone to do a really good job of running the baseball team that I've spent almost all of my life rooting for, since I lack the personal fortune required to buy the club and do it myself. The rest is inconsequential to me. That's why the trolling stuff written about Cohen negatively doesn't phase me at all. If I feel the need for a personal hero and/or someone who cares about me, I'll look elsewhere. As for Cohen, I truly suspect that how much time we spend talking about him in upcoming years will decrease in direct proportion to how well the club seems to be run. I, personally, look forward to writing about team success rather than trying to divine if the organization is being run correctly.

The idea that he is prepared to lose $400 million, which is hardly chump change even to a very, very rich guy, in his first couple of years as owner, signals to me that he sees the handwriting on the wall for where the Mets are headed without a big-time overhaul in everything that they do. Yeah, there's some talent on the major league roster, and a few potential high-impact prospects in the system currently, but not the quantity required to compete with more talent-rich and better run clubs both within their division and in the rest of the National League. There's a lot of work to do, and doing it right will pay dividends far beyond the undeniably huge cash outlays required to right the ship. It's a smart investment from a guy who has a pretty good track record in investing smartly.

So, please forgive me if I talk about some of this stuff quite often. It freaking matters, and the Wilpons' continuous failure to see this clearly is the one overarching reason why even modest sustain success always eluded them -  and, by extension, us.




Thankfully, this scenario is a hypothetical...right?

But imagine if someone came up to you and said you had to choose between Dominic Smith and Pete Alonso

You could only keep one. Which would you pick?

To compare fairly, I had to normalize the statistics for the two players. 

Pete has had 805 bats the last two years while Dom has had 354. So let’s project Dom up from 354 at bats to 805 at bats and see where that leaves us in our comparison. 

Pete has put up the following numbers in his 805 at bats: 

.252, 36 doubles, a whopping 69 home runs, and 155 RBIs. Plus 96 walks and a sizable 244 Ks.  Mets I've watched over the decades don't do stuff like that.

Dom’s projected numbers to get him to 805 at bats over the last two years brings him to this:

A .300 batting average, a freaky 71 doubles, plus 48 homers, and 152 RBIs, along with 75 walks and 208 Ks.   Mets I've watched over the decades don't do stuff like that.

Those are pretty stunning Smith numbers. Similar RBI rate to Pete.  Higher extra base hit rate than Pete.  Significantly higher average, too.

Dom also is a better glove man at 1B.  And can play LF too, if not with great acumen.

Both have real fan support, perhaps with Pete for now still higher in that regard. 

If you had to pick one....wow....I would probably NOT pick Pete.  

WHY? Monster power hitters that fan a lot like Pete sometimes fade more quickly than a high average hitter like Smith. 

Gary Sanchez, for instance, was a power monster in his first two years as a Yankee...53 HRs, 132 RBIs, .285 in 672 ABs...and hit just .200 over the next 3 seasons.  Chris Davis? Let’s not go there.

I don’t think that Sanchez thing happens to Pete...but Yankee fans did not think it would happen to Sanchez, either.

Reggie Jackson?  Hit 47 blasts at age 23, but over his next 18 seasons, only got as close to within 6 homers of that once.  Huge early homer numbers don't mean they will repeat.

If the NL keeps the DH, as it surely should, then by all means keep both.  Unless an irresistible prospect package is offered.

If there is, however, no more NL DH, the Mets will have a real logjam at 1B, and it seems a decision to make.

I’d see what each could attract in a trade.  My guess is Pete would bring in more.  If so, I would have to keep Smith.

But you're the GM.  In that scenario, what would you do?


Reese Kaplan -- Positional Analysis for Trades: SS


While there are clear arguments to be made pro and con for the various regular field positions on the Mets roster, the one area in which they are chock full of depth is at shortstop.  For a club that's enjoyed the exploits of the likes of Bud Harrelson, Jose Reyes and up through a few good offensive years from Asdrubal Cabrera, the Mets are accustomed to quality at that position.  Even the past few years Amed Rosario was showing great growth with his bat, enough that his defensive game was livable.  Then Andres Gimenez came from out of nowhere to push the slumping hitter Rosario out of the limelight.  Hot on their heels is prospect Ronny Mauricio as well.  Yes, it's a surplus of riches for the anchor of the infield.


Why then are folks suggesting the Mets toss all of them aside to make room for final arbitration year Cleveland Indians star, Francisco Lindor?  After all, the general consensus is that the club is weak in starting pitching, bullpen, centerfield and catcher.  Shortstop isn't even really on the radar as a must-fill need. 


Well, think back to last season when the Boston Red Sox were facing a similar situation with four-time All Star, four-time Gold Glove winner and one-time American League MVP Mookie Betts.  He was in the final year of his contract before becoming a VERY expensive free agent and the Red Sox front office felt it was better to unload him a year early for a boatload of talent rather than going through the motions of a QO and settling for a single measly draft pick in compensation when he turned it down.  


How'd that work out for the acquiring Dodgers?  Well, in the short 2020 season Betts wound up hitting .292 with 16 HRs, double digit stolen bases and highlight reel defense.  They used their exclusive negotiating window to extend Betts with an eye popping 12-year $365 million deal.  That move sewed up 1/8 of their offensive and defensive attack for pretty much the rest of Betts' major league baseball career.  


Now the Mets are in a similar situation with Lindor.  The still 26 year old shortstop has won multiple Gold Gloves, three times already exceeded the 30 HR plateau and holds a career batting average of .285.  He is due for arbitration in 2021 and set to hit free agency in 2022.  Do you see the parallel to Mookie Betts?  The Mets likely won't have to give up a king's ransom to get him since they'd only be guaranteed a single season of Lindor in Queens, but hopefully the new ownership doesn't squander opportunities the way the Wilpons did, and they would use 2021 to negotiate a long term deal with their new shortstop before he hits the open market.


If this type of deal should be made, obviously pieces need to go back to Cleveland, likely including one or the existing shortstop options, one of the borderline DH outfielder types like J.D. Davis and some pitching such as Seth Lugo.  That would seem to be a fair price for the All Star Lindor and would set the Mets up with the opportunity for security like the Dodgers did with Betts.  


Of course, if this type of deal happened, then the Mets need to figure out what to do with their excess of shortstops left behind.  It's perfectly acceptable to keep Luis Guillorme as the backup and then whomever remains behind -- Amed Rosario or Andres Gimenez -- could be peddled away to address other needs.  Yes, they still have the 2nd base question and 3rd base questions to answer, but any time you have the opportunity to secure someone regarded as the best at his position in the game, you have to look seriously at the opportunity.  (A similar pitch could be made to the Rockies for Trevor Story  who is in the same contractual situation, but in a league where the DH is not yet a regular option it may not be as easy to make this kind of trade).  


John From Albany – Mets News and Breakfast Links 10/19/2020



Good Morning. Happy Birthday Sandy Alomar, Joe McEwing, Rajai Davis, and Jose Bautista. Dodgers go to the World Series - we have the highlights - which brings us closer to when Steve Cohen will own Mets.

Section Links: Mets Links, MLB Links, and This Day in Mets History.

Mets Links:

Greg Prince Faith and Fear in Flushing “All 89 Mets Postseason Games Ranked.” Game 6 1986 “The Mookie Wilson Game” against the Red Sox ranked as #1.

Mets.com: Inbox: How will Mets upgrade their roster? Beat reporter Anthony DiComo answers fans' questions. Discussion includes , Marcus Stroman (Anthony thinks the Mets will make the qualifying offer but that Marcus will decline), J.T. Realmuto and other catching options, Noah Syndergaard, next year’s shortstop and more.

SNY.TV: Agent of potential Mets, Yankees target Trevor Bauer clarifies RHP's stance on one-year deals. Bauer previously expressed desire to not sign multiyear contract.

Call to the Pen: New York Mets: Marcus Stroman is worth a Qualifying Offer.

Metsmerized.com: Should Francisco Lindor Be Mets’ Top Offseason Target?

amNY: Astros elimination to begin offseason of George Springer, Mets rumors. “In his 147 career games in center field, Nimmo has a defensive runs saved (DRS) mark of -14. Meanwhile, Springer’s career DRS is at +14.”

Mike’s Mets: A Hero is Not Required.  Mike sums up the current situation with the Mets quite well when he states: “That's precisely why Steve Cohen is being looked at with so much hope by people like myself who really care about what happens here. It wasn't bad luck that has held the Mets down for so long, it was short-sighted, backward-looking management by folks who had absolutely no clue at all how to change things for the better.”

Brian Joura and Chris Flanders Mets360.com: revisit “2 Guys Talking Mets Baseball” and discuss “Sandy Alderson’s second act, diminishing defensive returns and Trevor Bauer & J.T. Realmuto.”

Rising Apple: An open letter to Steve Cohen before he takes over.  

Rising Apple: Three Mets players many fans are ready to trade away this winter. Steven Matz, Robert Gsellman, and Amed Rosario.

MLB Links:

CBS Sports: NLCS Game 7: Braves make costly baserunning gaffe as Dodgers turn unconventional double play. The Braves ran themselves out of a golden opportunity in the fourth inning of Game 7.

AP News: Bellinger HR sends Dodgers to 3rd World Series in 4 years.

MLB.com: 'This is our year': LA rallies to win NL pennant. Dodgers 4 Braves 3 (Box Score).

Yahoo Sports: The Dodgers were supposed to be in the World Series. But it didn't make getting there easier.

AP News: Dodgers-Rays rare wild-card era matchup of baseball’s best.

ESPN.com: Dave Roberts' trust in Julio Urias pays off in NLCS Game 7.

CBS Sports: Why best is yet to come for Braves after postseason loss to Dodgers. The Braves lost, but the best is yet to come with this loaded organization.

CBS Sports: Dodgers' Corey Seager wins NLCS MVP honors after monster performance vs. Braves.

MLB Trade Rumors: Phillies Pitching Coach Bryan Price Retires.

MLB Trade Rumors: Marlins Intend To Exercise Club Option On Starling Marte.

MLB Trade Rumors: Marlins Part Ways With Michael Hill.

The NY Times: ‘They Just Get It’: How Women in M.L.B. Found Support in a Group Text.

Today in Mets History Per Ultimatemets.com:

Born on this date:


New York Mets traded 
Tom Parsons to the Houston Astros for Jerry Grote on October 19, 1965.

Fred Lewis granted free agency on October 19, 2012.

Metsmerized Online: Reliving the 2000 Mets: Who Let the Mets Out?

Amazing Avenue: Revisiting the Mets’ 2006 NLCS loss to the Cardinals. It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times.

National Pastime.com:


At Shea Stadium, Steve Crawford is the winning pitcher in the Red Sox' 9-3 victory over the Mets in Game 2 of the World Series. The right-handed reliever, who was 0-2 before the start of the postseason, becomes the first hurler to win a Fall Classic contest after being winless during the regular season.


The Braves stroll into a World Series berth with their 10-9 walk-off victory against the Mets at Turner Field in Game 6 of the NLCS. Atlanta has their ticket punched to the Fall Classic when Kenny Rogers issues a base on balls to Andruw Jones with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 11th inning to force in Gerald Williams with winning run.



For a new generation of fans, the term "the Catch" may conjure up memories of Endy Chavez's NLCS Game 7 leaping catch at Shea's left-field fence with his outstretched glove, grabbing a ball destined to be a Scott Rolen two-run home run, and starting an unbelievable double play. The heroics are overshadowed in the ninth inning as Yadier Molina hits a two-run homer and Carlos Beltran, who has the best HR ratio (11/81) in postseason history, looks at a third strike with the bases loaded with Mets, giving the Cardinals a 3-1 victory and the pennant.

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