TWO GUYS TALKING: Winter Meetings Edition — What Just Happened, What’s Next?


The Mets added two players and $23 million in salary for 2014 during the week, which kept us pretty occupied.


The Oakland pipeline, Billy Beane keeps feeding us players! Colin Cowgill, Chris Young, now Bartolo. In celebration, I’m preparing a long list of “Colon”-oscopy jokes and sight gags.  Dave Pinto at Baseball Musings pointed out after the signing, “Drug use in Oakland never seemed to bother Sandy Alderson, the Mets GM.” It’s the new market inefficiency, as I’ve argued before. This is why we still need Braun. Those drugs “enhance” performance!


I do not agree. Take Colon. Sure it could have been the PEDs, but more likely it is all the hard work he has done. Just look at the guy!


Stacks-of-money-pictures-3He did have a balky shoulder and underwent experimental stem cell surgery that raised some eyebrows. Back to the team’s finances: I’m amused by the pervasive narrative in the papers about how the Wilpons have opened their wallets. They are spending again! And that’s not true. Not yet, anyway. Johan Santana made $25.5 million in 2013. Then we’ve got the curious accounting case of Jason Bay, who was technically on the books in 2013, but with a $15 million payment (read: actual money) that was pushed off into the future, payable by the year end of 2015.

So I’m saying: Nice, the Mets spent some money. We seem to be participating in the Major Leagues, stocking the roster with 25 players, etc. That’s good, I’m glad. But I feel like that sad-eyed kid in “Oliver Twist.”

Please sir, may I have some more?”


Back on October 10th I looked at the tea leaves and assumed $30 million in new spending. When you throw Young in we are right there. I expect us to be expense neutral the rest of the way. If we trade Davis, that will be a few bucks to do something.

'Not gruel, stupid! -- I said find the GRAIL!'But if I knew going in I was getting a bowl of gruel, then I am going to savor that gruel. I’m fine. It’s better than last year when I was left to starve.


Actually, the current situation reminds me of the old days with the Wilpons. They were content to stop short of excellence, the old “meaningful games in September” concept. Meanwhile, I keep eyeballing those young shortstops in Arizona.


Well, we still have not traded any pitching, and we signed a pitcher. We will see.


My expectations have been raised. It’s no more than women’s intuition (yes, oddly enough, I’ve been blessed with it!), but I think they will spend more than you anticipate, maybe nudging slightly above $90 million. The Mets must sign a credible reliever. Did you see that Bobby Parnell will be re-examined next week? The vibe on this injury feels very troublesome to me. Remember when the early word was that he slept on it wrong?


Yes. This is far from a New York Mets phenomena, being dishonest about injuries. All teams do it, across all the major sports. In general, it is the way of the current world, lying is considered good acceptable business. A way to gain an edge. I don’t understand it, but the majority of the public is very accepting of it.

What I find ironic is how much time and effort is spent these days covering words. Sometimes I think people care more about the press conferences than the games. All while knowing everyone is lying.

Very bizarre.

Kendrys MoralesJimmy:

Buster Olney is talking Kendrys Morales to the Mets in a “team friendly” deal — this February or March. That’s a strange one.


Yes, I think I passed that along to you the other night when Buster Olney and I both could not sleep. I’m not sure how that would work either.


So what else have you got?


I did find some other Winter Meetings items interesting, I will start with the new collision rules. This might surprise you Jimmy, but I’m in favor.


It’s a new world and we are all a product of evolution. Baseball is not a contact sport and these guys get paid a ton of money. I don’t need Travis d’Arnaud wiped out at home plate. Besides, this rule change can help the Mets. The only player that I can remember who barreled into a catcher in the last five years is Daniel Murphy, and he might be on the move.


Yes, I’m in favor, too. This is the way the world is going — and for the better. Ty Wigginton was the last Met I remember who actually looked forward to those collisions.


Russell WilsonThe always exciting Rule 5 draft was held on Thursday. Sandy used the opportunity to cover the hotel costs for him and his staff for the week by picking pitcher Seth Rosin and selling him to the Dodgers. Until proven otherwise, Texas made the smartest pick, nabbing Russell Wilson. The Wilson move works just for the free publicity.


Mets also grabbed 28-year-old RHP Jon Velasquez from Twins. He’ll have to stick with the ML club all season or else rights revert back to Minnesota. For all the talk we hear of the Mets system, nobody got picked in the Major League section of the Draft. We did lose three minor leaguers: RHP Carlos Vazquez to the Astros, LHP Jimmy Fuller to the Twins and RHP Martires Arias to Washington.. I guess I’ll still be able to sleep at night. For more info on those dudes, Toby Hyde will treat you right.


Earlier in the week, Sandy made another small move, re-signing Jeremy Hefner to a minor league deal. Saving some money at the injured Hefner’s expense was important as it turns out the Mets were stuck paying for that salmon dinner. Problem solved. Is it any wonder why Fred loves this guy? Seriously, though, if I’m the Players Association I address this in the next CBA. Not Alderson, I understand he was playing by the rules, but the actual rules. If you agreed to rules where your players can get salaries slashed by getting injured, you lost that part of the negotiation.


It didn’t stand as the Mets shining moment, but this is a cruel business. You know what though? So is banking, so is children’s publishing, which we in the business cruelly refer to as a “bunny eat bunny” world.


260701700001_1668379121001_vs-1668337047001Eight teams were named as interested in Johan Santana. One was the New York Mets. I’m crazy about Santana and was disgusted when his work ethic was being questioned last year. But it doesn’t feel right this time to me. Johan is such a longshot, and he will expect a rotation spot sitting waiting for him if he ever can pitch. I see a new address as best for both Santana and the Mets.


It makes no sense. If anything, the Mets need a guy who can slog through April-June, whereas with Johan, nobody knows when he’ll be ready. One report I read was that no pitcher has ever come back from two of those surgeries. As much as I respect Johan, I’m not betting on him. But I’ll tell you: I admire his love of the game. He’s got enough money, he doesn’t need to put himself through this process.


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  1. RAFF says:

    Colon had Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injected into his shoulder and Elbow- IN THE DOMINICAN- From where all the avant-garde medical procedures originate, nowadays. I’m enjoying a smooth, tasty PRP-Mango Shooter as we speak. I’m feeling a tingling in places where I didn’t even know I had places anymore. Fresh from stacking 2 cords of wood in 20 minutes and pulling the rear end of my wife’s Explorer out of a snow bank with my bare hands, all I can say is – Nice Drink. What a buzz!

  2. James Preller says:

    “Nice Drink” — ha!

  3. James Preller says:

    It’s the drink that pays for itself!

  4. RAFF says:

    As you’ve given license to co-opt movie scenes- From The Graduate : “One Word>>>> PLASMA!”

  5. Patrick Boegel says:

    My fear with the Bartolo, he is the type of pitcher who seems very, if this, get that, what with being likely on his last deal. Base plus incentives. Nevertheless, here he is.

    I had 140 character blurt to blurt for about an eon on Tuesday of last week with a gentlemen who blogs his sort of junior Mike and the Mad Dog meshed persona on the people’s universe of Twitter. Here is the gist, I was relentlessly mocked by he for daring to suggest that the Mets sign Kazmir two 2 years $22MM like the A’s. It would be stupid it was said given the Mets situation. 36 hours later, this same titan of industry was applauding the Colon signing. He actually used the phrase I believe “it was a much better more manageable deal.”

    So this is the bizarro universe I feel I live in. Where 2-22 is unmanageable compared to 2-20.

    I am going to meditate on that one whilst I doth shovel.

  6. Eric says:

    Bogie… I’d have preferred take 2 million more and 12 years less,

    My first pref would have been The Shortstop for 3-4 years and throwing my young pitchers out there. I prefer that they add cornerstones….. DRew would be a nice 3rd block…I cannot understand any reluctance to sign him.

    • Drew is not that good, he’s on the downside of his career, is injury-prone, so he’s not necessary a guy I need to be married to for the next 3-4 years. Short-term he’s a huge improvement, but with some patience I hope the Mets can get similar productive at a much cheaper cost. With a bigger payroll, sure, fine. Trading for one of those Arizona shortstops, however, strikes me as pretty interesting. That would be my idea of a building block, a young guy with his best years ahead of him, not an overpaid guy on the fade.

    • Patrick Boegel says:

      I would have been okay, had they chose that direction.

  7. The deal I really wonder about is Chris Young. Just not feeling it, and don’t love that promises were made to a one-year mercenary looking to get his year on track. We are the Long Island Ducks. That said, Alderson took a risk, gambled a little. We’ll see if he’s right. For the first time as a GM of the Mets, he’s actually had to make some decisions, do things that were not obvious. Colon, Young, especially, exposed him to some second-guessing — really, for the first time. The folks that praise him, He Who Can Do Know Wrong, suddenly have to watch him “do things” and defend those positions. It will lead to some contortionist-type positions.

    Interestingly, to me, my feelings toward him have shifted. In the past, I distrusted the acolytes who so only perfection in his stillness. Now that he’s moving around some, signing guys, exposing himself to mistakes, the worm could turn. But from my point of view, I find myself wanting to defend more. I appreciate that it’s a messy business, that decisions have to be made, that there are no guarantees. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    But: If the Mets signed Chris Young at $7.5 million, only to play Eric Young and sit Juan Lagares, I’ll have questions. If Wilmer Flores and Rafael Montero can’t see the light of day, I’ll wonder about a small-market team that is afraid to play its best young players. If we are investing in Chris Young at the expense of Juan Lagares, that’s quite a risk — because it sure seems like a bad idea, business-wise. OTOH, maybe Alderson is right about Chris Young. Maybe he helps the Mets win, short-term, and maybe there’s more value in that than I can see at the moment.

    I love my snow blower.

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