WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?: A Look at What Might Be Happening With the New York Mets

MetsSatinJimmy:

The Mets have been playing well and winning games. You can sense it in conversations with fans and in blog posts and newspaper articles. The narrative has changed. Hope is in the air. What’s happened with this team these past few weeks?

Mike:

They’ve spent most of the last three weeks on the road. Okay, seriously, starting with the day of the roster purge there seems to be a welcome change in emphasis. Many had commented how the Mets had been treating 2013 as one big extended spring training. Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada would play no matter how they performed, we experimented with players out of position all over the field, and we held back talented players from the roster for future financial savings (which may or may not even come to pass.)

Jimmy:

Of course, most of those changes were forced upon the organization. Davis had to go down. Tejeda got hurt, Duda got hurt, Turner got hurt. You know that JT would have been in there ahead of Josh Satin if Terry had his druthers.

Mike:

If not for injuries Satin was never even getting promoted.

Jimmy:

Word is that Duda and Turner will be ready to return in two weeks. It would feel like a dispiriting step in the wrong direction to see either one on the field.

Mike:

Duda got injured at a very inopportune time, as he was finally getting a chance at first base. He has already proved beyond a shadow of a doubt he should not be an outfielder on this team. As Ike is back and Lucas hits lefty, I have no idea what they do with the guy.

Jimmy:

Book stores — remember them? — have a discount table, everything 50% off, priced to go.

Mike:

As long as Valdespin is around, I am indifferent to Turner returning. What exactly is Valdespin’s purpose?

Jimmy:

As a pinch-hitter, Jordany is 3-33. He’s dying on the vine . . . and next to go.

Mike:

75% off.

Jimmy:

I think we are witnessing “The Wheeler Effect.” That’s been the primary source of renewed hopefulness. I see Noah Syndergaard on the same “Super 2″ timetable for next season. Meanwhile, Rafael Montero has struggled a bit in Las Vegas.

Mike:

Wheeler looked good in his last start but hadn’t done much before that to get people excited. As I mentioned yesterday, I was amped up for the game Wednesday and I didn’t even know he was pitching. I attribute much of the current optimism to good solid baseball. Pitching, defense, a running game, and the biggest thing, wins. They have been playing good baseball for over three weeks. People start to take notice.

Jimmy:

I don’t agree. It’s not about what he’s done in five games, so much as what he signifies. The first coming of the “young arms” we’ve been hearing about. The start of a new chapter. Plus, he’s done enough to make the hype look legitimate.

Mike:

Syndergaard does seem on the same timeline as Wheeler and Harvey. But will we trade him first?

Jimmy:

I think we will try to hold, but it’s impossible to assess the back room opportunities from where I’m sitting. We have to do something.

Mike:

As for Montero in Las Vegas, I have no idea what to even make of it. The Las Vegas thing is just sad.

Cesar Puello

Cesar Puello

Jimmy:

Everybody in Vegas gets killed. Leathersich has an ERA above 7.00. It’s a rough town, just ask Bugsy Siegal. I read  a terrific piece by Rob Castellano with updates and commentary on many of the Mets top prospects. Just one of those well-written pieces that makes an old guy think, “Thank you, Interwebs!” There was a comparison that jumped out at me: Cesar Puello and Starling Marte-lite. Let me tell you, I love Marte, he’s exactly the player I’d want to plug into the Mets outfield. Did you know that back in late 2011, there were rumors of the Pirates hot after Ike Davis. Marte’s name got mentioned, the Mets wanted him-plus, but obviously nothing came of it.

Mike:

That 50-game suspension looms over Puello. Hopefully that gets settled soon. He will be 23 by next April, and we need outfielders. I see no reason why he shouldn’t be in the mix for us in 2014, starting Opening Day.

I would hope we would take competing in 2014 more seriously and go north with our strongest roster. A guy can get hurt anywhere, but the fact is we lost Travis d’Arnaud in a place he never should have been in. Wouldn’t it be nice to have him around right now?

Jimmy:

I also have to praise the way Alderson has managed the bullpen. Guys are in, guys are out, it keeps shifting as they try to find the right combination of pitchers. I think that approach has to extend to the regular roster, too. It’s poker: Discard what you can’t use, pick up something new.

Parnell SavesMike:

I have been pleased with this year’s approach since the off-season began, and the follow through has been good. When you don’t throw big money at these crappy guys it’s a lot easier to cut bait emotionally and move on. I bet it makes life dealing with Fred simpler too.

But don’t forget that constant in the bullpen, Parnell. He has been solid all year, having a guy who can finish changes the entire bullpen dynamic.

Jimmy:

Lastly, Mike, and with all this new hope — or do we call it “fleeting collective delusion”? — there’s a reluctance to trade away anybody. We’re still in this! How do we move Marlon Byrd, for example? Or as Eric commented previously, is he a guy we should be extending?

Mike:

We’re still in what? The National League? I know it’s the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Mets, but I do not believe. We are still a long way from .500 for the year. So, as to Byrd, wait if you want for another week or two, but unless we start making a historic move very quickly he has to be dealt.

As far as extending him, um, no. You trade him, get back something, and then celebrate an overall job well-done on Byrd. Then, if you really really want him back next year you negotiate with him in the off-season. Which is exactly where you are going to end up in this if you do not trade him.

 

 

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23 comments

  1. W.k. kortas says:

    If the Mets don’t trade Marlon Byrd now, heads should roll. He’s a classic sell-high candidate, and even a mid-tier prospect in return is better than trying to extend him so you can overpay for a late-in-life fluke season.

    • Thoughts: This is not the sort of move that Alderson has made during his tenure as the Mets GM. He was disinterested in dealing Hairston last season, for example. He’s made two GREAT trades when forced to — Beltran, Dickey — but seems disinclined to make smaller deals. However, one minor deal he made recently had a big impact on the club: Collin McHugh for Eric Young. Small moves can be significant. And frankly, I’ve been disappointed in his unwillingness to address overall weaknesses with minor deals. What is Byrd worth on the market? I can’t say. What is he, 6th in the NL in HRs? He plays a solid outfield, has the fabled “veteran presence.” I’d think that a team looking to fortify itself for a pennant drive just might be willing to part with something. At the same time, Sandy tends to look down at that kind of deal. Without specifics, who can say if he’s right or wrong. Because IB is right in the sense that his play with the Mets, this year, has value. It’s not nothing, a watchable club.

      Lastly, again, it’s just amazing to step back and look at where Marlon Byrd was: a PED offender, playing in the Mexican leagues, an abject failure last season, with a total of 84 career HRs at the twilight of his career. Now he’s got 15 and he’s a tradeable asset? I did not see that coming.

      I’d try to trade him for AA/AAA talent.

  2. IB says:

    What GM, in his right mind, is going to trade away anything really worthwhile for Byrd? Cmon. I’d rather see the Mets play out the season with a solid right fielder who “knows how to play this game”. Maybe it’s a “fluke”, but it’s a Mets fluke and I’m enjoying it in the present. I don’t expect to see Byrd on the roster next year, but the value is here now.

    • Michael Geus says:

      We will see, and no, I wouldn’t expect a Top 100 guy, of course. But Byrd is playing great and is very cheap, there should be some interest.

      We forfeited using our best roster in the first half of the year. It has been suggested (not by you IB) that was prudent as it is all about 2014 and beyond. If we keep Byrd to win in 2013, then where was d’Arnaud on Opening Day, or Wheeler?

      What Byrd has done is great but there has to be a consistency to the road taken. If we keep Byrd the signal to me is it is because he comes cheap, does anyone doubt whether we would be shopping him if he made $5 million this year?

      Madoff happened in 2009, I’m sick of moves being dictated by our owners failed investments. Mets fans have been patient, it is time for our personnel moves to be dictated with winning in 2014 and beyond as the focus. They already punted 2013, sadly.

      Moving Byrd is consistent with that goal, keeping him to win a few more games in 2013 seems like a cynical move to try and generate a few more dollars this year.

      I’m not interested in that.

  3. IB says:

    This team needs to win some ballgames. This year.

  4. Alan K says:

    I would hope Alderson would have learned from his failure to trade Hairston last July. He wouldn’t have brought back a Wheeler or d’Arnaud type talent but perhaps someone who could have been useful in 2013. Instead Sandy held on to Hairston and lost him for nothing because another team gave him the two year deal the Mets balked at. Keeping Byrd for the sake of maybe winning a few more meaningless games (which could adversely affect 2014 draft position) makes zero sense. The object of this year is to evaluate the talent and separate the wheat from the chaff. How many ballgames they win is meaningless. Byrd still can help a contending team (including the Yankees) and could bring back a player who is non-impact but more serviceable than thin air.

  5. IB says:

    I was upset when they broke camp without D’arnaud and Wheeler and it certainly smacked of moves being dictated by Wilpon’s bad investments. I was upset by the non-signing of Bourne – undoubtedly dictated by the same reasons. (Could you see Bourne and Young in C/LF? That would be a nice 1-2 speed/D package in Citi)

    But, I’m not ready to agree, yet, they’ve punted the season. They’re 7 games back in the loss column in the WC and it’s Mid-July. When the trade deadline comes and goes and they’ve done nothing that makes the 2013 team better, then yeah – there’s always next year…

    • W.k. kortas says:

      What’s important to the Mets going forward–the development of Hrvey, Wheeler, D’Arnaud et al, determing if Davis and Duda have a seat at the table going forward, seing if Valdespin, Tejada, and maybe Nieuwenheis can be viable pieces–don’t have a damn thing to do with the Mets being a few games up or down on the .500 mark this year. If the front office decides to hold on to Byrd to gain a couple of wins, that’s not just short-sighted, that’s downright foolish.

      • It depends what they can get for Byrd in return. But I’d certainly try to move him.

        They’ve been looking at Kirkkkkk and Valdespin and Duda and Davis and Tejeda for years. I think they haven’t been jettisoned yet because there’s been nothing behind them in the system. Finally, I think there just about is. Not stars, but some realistic options down below. Losing Davis is the only guy out of that list that would give me pause — and after I paused, I’d move him. Maybe you keep one of Duda and Davis, but not both, no way.

  6. Alan K says:

    If the Mets had signed Bourne, they most likely would have lost their first round pick which means no Dominic Smith. Mets management Ray Guy’d the 2013 season a long time ago-Jeff Wilpon admitted that during the Yankee series. The Mets are still 8 games below .500. Do you really want to see the Mets do what they did in 2004 when they traded Kazmir for Victor Zambrano for the sake of an illusory playoff run? That would be a horrible short-sighted decision.

    • There is a huge gap between not trading Byrd and the idiotic, bungled Kazmir trade, though I understand you are linking them based on a possible shared delusional sense of being “in” some kind of pennant race.

      But I’ll bite, I think they are at the point of a Kazmir type trade — to help the club in 2014. The problem with the Kazmir deal was not so much that they traded a top pitching prospect, but that they did it on the down low, didn’t shop him properly, and got a lousy return. An incompetent trade.

      • Alan K says:

        I mentioned the Kazmir trade in response to IB appearing to suggest that the Mets make a trade to makes the 2013 team better. While the Mets might at the point of making a Kazmir type trade, that trade would be more about acquiring a different piece of the long term puzzle as opposed to a “now” type move. Whether that trade takes place in July or December is irrelevant because it would be about 2014 and beyond and not some faux 2013 pennant chase.

  7. IB says:

    I don’t believe how many ballgames they win in 2013 is meaningless nor am I suggesting the extreme of a Kazmir debaucle
    Fielding a good team in 2013 that can carry over to 2014 is all I ask.

  8. Alan K says:

    They don’t have the personnel to field a good team in 2013. The rest of 2013 is about doing evaluations that could help in 2014. Won-loss record is a secondary consideration . And to be honest, if they’re not going to compete in 2013, I’d rather see them get a higher draft pick in 2014.

  9. Don P says:

    I think it was Samuel Johnson who, when asked about his third marraige, made the famous quote “it’s the triumph of hope over reason.” The Mets should not make the same mistake, it didn’t work out for Mr Johnson either.

  10. Eraff says:

    Hairston was recently Traded by the Cubs…. he was hitting .180. The Cubs acquired Ivan Penyro, a “High A League” Pitcher (St. Lucie Level).

    http://m.milb.com/player/606335/

    Peneyro is 21…. the scouing report says low to mid 90′s fastball. Strikes out a batter an inning. 1.2 whip

    I want THAT trade for Scott Hairston Last Year!…..and I want a somewhat better deal for Byrd—-and , IF you’re NOT gonna trade him………

  11. IB says:

    First comes the Kasmir strawman, then the S.Johnson quote suggesting some foolish hope. Neither apply to what I’m saying at all. .

    • Here’s where I am on Marlon Byrd: he’s going to turn back into a pumpkin. I’m grateful for what he’s accomplished this season, it’s been amazing, but I don’t believe it. There’s no way I’d invest any money in him next season. As far as moving him, if my scouts liked a AA outfielder, even A+ guy, or saw a promising arm, yeah, I’d do it. Who in baseball history has done what he is currently doing? At age 35, suddenly demonstrating more power than ever before? He’s found the magic milkshake.

    • Michael Geus says:

      I happen to agree with your premise, we are at the point where winning should be on the agenda. If Parnell goes for some guy who can’t help right now, for instance, I am going to be ticked.

      But Byrd is different to me, he has a clear expiration sticker of the last day of the 2013 season. And although he is playing better than I could ever imagine he would I also can’t imagine how moving him should be such a huge impediment to a good second half. He’s still Marlon Byrd.

  12. Michael Geus says:

    In a very slightly related note, as the team postures that they will not trade Marlon Byrd (understanding this might be posturing) because they are serious about winning in 2013 they bench their best player tonight. So he can play in an exhibition game.

    Mixed message, no?

  13. Alan K says:

    The Mets wanted Harvey to be able to start the All-Star game because it will present the team in a positive light on the national stage by showing off their young star player and deflect attention away from their losing record and financial issues. The claim about not trading Byrd because they are about winning is really about the Wilpons trying to generate attendance for the second half.

  14. Eraff says:

    They’d need to be overwhelmed to trade him…fine. Why has nobody asked if they’re re-signing him?

    I’d trade him for a Peneyro type guy who’s at AA(see Hairston trade reference)

    Most deadline moves are NOW for Later moves. MOST. The deadline trades are between Pennant Chasers and Folders—- the Chasers are keeping their MLB players. Some exceptions, but Position players are traded for Prospects…sometimes a Pitcher for Position we get you a Ready To Play guy……. Boston could decide they love Parnell, and they could wave Jackie Bradley. That’s type move is the exception.

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