2 GUYS TALKING: Dillon Gee, Pitching Like a Star

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Jimmy:

Dillon Gee has really turned my head around. Start after start, he comes out there and shows so much craft, guile, and guts. Most nights, he looks like a very good major league pitcher. And I’ll admit it, I’ve never been a believer. I’m a “stuff” guy — I prefer pitchers who look like they are hard to hit, the talent you can see.

Mike:

Gee never had any hype, one day we needed a pitcher and he just showed up. He has been solid all along. But without the big fastball, it was natural to be suspicious. This year in particular he has pitched great. I already pointed out how well he fits our park. With the additions of Lagares and Young we are also being reminded of the handicap he pitched with for much of his Mets career, bad defense. In Minnesota the other day, Lagares ran down more than one potential extra-base hit.

Another day in the park for Juan Lagares.

Another day in the park for Juan Lagares.

In Dillon Gee’s last 15 starts he is 7-2, with an ERA of 2.27. That is beyond solid.

Jimmy:

For me, I’m satisfied to let the market dictate things for now. What is Dillon Gee worth? How does that compare to the value of, say, Noah Syndergaard, or Rafael Montero, or Jonathan Niese? None of them are untradeable. But at the same time, do you have to trade any of them this winter?

Mike:

Your first statement is the key one, the market dictates. So, as to what is a good deal, exactly, that always depends on the needs of other teams as well as your own. For this reason I am already on record that I consider Gee someone we should keep. It’s not that I slot him ahead of Harvey (obviously), Wheeler, Montero, Syndergaard, etc., but when you look at those career road/home splits it is difficult to envision a trade that will make sense. Other GMs have access to those numbers too. And Gee has real value to us, we can’t trade him for 50 cents on the dollar just to make room for someone.

As to whether we have to trade someone, that remains to be seen. Are the owners finally going to step up to the plate and spend some money? We have heard for years we are waiting for Santana and Bay to come off the books. Well, that day is coming.

Taking on salary changes the dynamic. You can sign free agents, yes, but it’s not just that. You can also take on salary in trades with partners trying to dump salary. In those deals you do not have to deal premium talent away. So, with the proper investment you might not have to deal any of the names you mentioned above.

Now, as we see every time Harvey pitches, you do need hitters to win as well as pitching. If a premium slugger becomes available and we need to include some of the names you mention above, I would do it. There are only so many of those guys, and if you look around baseball the balance is shifting. The rarest commodity now is not a frontline pitcher — it’s a star offensive player.

Jimmy:

The simplest solution would be to enter the Jose Abreu sweepstakes, I suppose. It’s a bold move I could see Omar Minaya make — he always had a much grander vision for a Mets dynasty — but very hard to imagine Sandy Alderson bringing over the Cuban slugger.

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(For a chorus of opinions on the above, here’s Jacob Resnick at Mets360, Joe D at Metsmerized, and Matt Cerrone at Metsblog. In contradiction to Cerrone’s numbers, Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk suggests that a contract exceeding $80 million would not be a surprise.)

But I want to shelf those thoughts for now. With this team, it’s difficult to stay in the here and now. We’ve remarked on it before. Even during spring training, so much of the focus seemed to bypass the 2013 season altogether. It was all about next year, the budget room, Bay and Santana off the books, and all the wonderful young arms in Port St. Lucie.

Here we are in late August and it feels like the sad end of September. Nothing matters beyond the pure pleasure of the game itself. Watching Lagares track fly balls. Listening to Keith in the booth say, as he said on Monday after watching d’Arnaud take a 3-1 pitch for a strike: “See, I don’t want him looking for a walk here. Swing the bat. Three-one pitch, fastball, he’s got to be on it.”

I bring up Dillon Gee and the mind immediately wanders: we do the math, count the pitchers in the system, look at the offense, and try to figure out how it can all be fixed. But really I just want to pause a minute and say that once again this game teaches me something new (and something old) all over again. You look up and realize that the guy you never expected just might be the player you needed all along. My hat is off to Dillon Gee. He’s really been impressive this season. I guess sometimes you need to step back in order to see the thing in front of you, especially when it’s not what you were expecting to find.

 

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8 comments

  1. As with you gentlemen, I’m enjoying Gee these days as well. But if the right offer came along, perhaps a package deal of some sort, I’d definitely pull the trigger on it if it would net us an actual top-notch position player. I love our young pitching depth, but I’m getting so tired of watching us scratch out 2-4 runs every game. I barely remember what it’s like to blow the other team out of the water once in a while.

    • Michael Geus says:

      One way or the other we must add offense. I’m hoping the way is we spend, but expect we will trade pitching.

      That’s not on Sandy, if your hands are tied, they are tied.

  2. By the way, William, I enjoyed your Onion-esque satire the other day, “Selig Imposes Ban on All of Major League Baseball.” Excellent & funny.

    http://ondeckcircle.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/selig-imposes-ban-on-all-of-major-league-baseball/

  3. RAFF says:

    Michael> The Mets will NOT trade Pitching… But just to humor you – I’ll grant you your day in court—Which pitchers would they “put out there”, and why?

    • Michael Geus says:

      It’s hard to answer that without knowing the other side of a deal. I think they will trade pitchers in the minor leagues for hitting. In other words I do not think they will trade Wheeler. I think Meija is virtually untradeable, he has such an injury history. And I’m on record that Gee has more value to us than in the market.

      Niese could conceivably go, but he is left handed. That is hard to see.

      That leaves the usual suspects, Montero and Syndergaard, and anything below, of course.

      Matz, for instance, should have some level of value in a package.

      But none will be hard to do unless our spending habits are going to change very quickly. We’ll see.

      • RAFF says:

        OK – I’m ‘gonna give you a PASS, since you’re just back from vaykay, you’re not quite up to playing speed, and you’re working your way back into the rotation… The Mets Will Not trade their pitching— Here’s the deal- you can NEVER afford GOOD Pitching… You Can BARELY afford even Mediocre Pitching. You Can ALWAYS afford a BAT.. Even THIS Mets management understands that. “Matz” for another teams development hitter?– Maybe. Not likely… Syndergaard for another team’s upper level hitting prospect– Not likely…Niese-Too much concern about his condition… The thing is— you said that Pitching would be traded for hitting, but then you pretty much petered out on who would be traded… So, Can we agree??— Their top 8-10 major league and Minor league STARTING pitching “stalwarts” and prospects WILL NOT be traded? I mean, unless someone offers something stupid— Like Kazmir for Zambrano type deal — Only in OUR FAVOR this time>?

        • Michael Geus says:

          No do not agree. I expect us to trade for a major league bat, and I believe minor league pitchers will be included on our end of the deal.

          We ‘ll see.

  4. Alan K. says:

    So if the Mets don’t trade pitching and they don’t spend on free agents because their hands are tied, where does that leave the Mets offense in 2014? Hoping that the kids produce and that the underchievers like Ike and Tejada start achieving?

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