WINTER MEETINGS PREVIEW: What’s Next for the Mets?

mickey-and-minnie1

Mike:

So, the Winter meetings start Monday in Orlando. Mickey, Minnie, and Sandy. A lot of folks, including the Mets, have already made some moves. It seems right to start with the Mets.

Jimmy:

Sandy with bagMy 9th-grader sent me a text the minute he heard the news about Granderson: “Mets!”

My college kid texted me around the same time: “I like the Grandy deal.”

Which sure beats what my 86-year-old mother said to me around this time last year, “Oh, I suppose those dopey Mets won’t do anything.”

My boys have not had a lot to cheer about. I know that making fans happy is sneered at in some dark corners of the blogosphere, but I think it’s good business.

Mike:

Fans are customers, and much of what a baseball team sells is hope. You have to give a fan a reason to hope.

Jimmy:

Granderson was a necessary deal. The team needs ballplayers. It’s ironic how closely this deal mirrors the last big signing (and yes, folks, it’s been too long), Jason Bay’s four-year deal of 2009, which so many hold up as responsible for all the team’s woes over the past four years. Those nasty contracts! I’ve never bought that narrative. For all of Sandy’s differences from Omar, the free agent marketplace makes fools of us all. You can’t dive in without getting wet.

Mike:

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Cleveland IndiansBilly Beane (let me now wait a moment so everyone can bow and curtsy) just paid $22 million over two years to a guy who is one year removed from the Independent League. It is almost impossible for any team to fill all their holes with cheap internal options. Therefore, if you want to compete, you have got to pay guys.

Jimmy:

In fairness to Sandy, rebuilding a farm system takes five years, not three. The timing of this deal seemed like Sandy wanted to get it out of the way before working on some trades. Very orderly that way, precise. Now it’s on to the next piece of business.

Mike:

My guess is still a shortstop, but I don’t know who it would be. I don’t think it will be Drew, but I just can’t believe it will be Tejada. I would be less surprised to see Davis in the Opening Day lineup than Tejada.

Jimmy:

The great thing about having several holes, Sandy can take advantage of the best opportunity out there — whether it is first base, shortstop, starting pitcher, bullpen, bat to mash LHP, etc. I can live with Tejeda if — and only if — they address other areas of need. I honestly don’t have the enthusiasm to go down the speculative list of fringe possibilities. Fortunately, other bloggers do that stuff better than we ever could.

Mike:

Going into the Winter Meetings last year, all the talk was how we had no outfielders. That has changed.

Jimmy:

Seems like we’re short two starting pitchers, since I refuse to count Meija at this juncture. I’d try to sign Capuano and give Montero his shot.

Mike:

Here is where I expect some Dumpster diving. Harang, Dice . . . hey, where is Nelson Figueroa these days?

Jimmy:

Pretty sure Nelson Figueroa changed his name to Carlos Torres. Same guy. You know, I’m okay with Dumpster diving. Jake DeGrom is a ripe body. My gut says that Alderson is looking to make at least a couple of deals, bodies could move, and Montero looks to me like a potential chip (not that I’m advocating). I’m saying: Who knows! It sure feels like they want to flip Murphy. For a team counting pennies, Murph might be earning too much. A lot comes down to how they feel about Wilmer Flores.

Mike:

I’m not sure it would be to clear the spot for Wilmer. Eric Young is also still around. If Murphy goes we need to get some value back for him. It can’t just be a salary dump.

Jimmy:

Yes, but, if by dumping salary enables Alderson to orchestrate something elsewhere in a companion move, it would make sense. Clearing $5 million might make a difference. We can only guess. By the way, I agree: If the Mets keep Flores, I don’t think they are handing him a full-time job.

Mike:

doug fisterVery active week around baseball, with a lot of trades. The Nationals picked up Doug Fister, and the Marlins signed Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Rafael Furcal, and Garret Jones. Fister should do quite well in the National League.

Jimmy:

Fister looks like an incredible pick-up, a bargain deal. As a division rival, I almost want to complain, “Hey, no fair.”

Mike:

Robinson Cano signed an okay deal. I have always wondered how much he has benefited from playing in Yankee Stadium. We will find out now, Safeco is not a hitters paradise.

Jimmy:

I think Jay Z blew it, though the responsibility falls on Cano. He’ll lose 50-100 HRs playing in that park, and it sure isn’t going to be the same as being a big man in Yankee Stadium. He could have been a lifelong Yankee, the plaque in Monument Park, all those things he threw away. I feel like Cashman handled it extremely well. He was clear with Cano, made a fair offer, and when there was no movement, Cashman changed directions and went after Ellsbury (yes, that’s a scary contract). You get the feeling that sometimes these GM’s get tired of being played like chumps. I’d grab Omar Infante if I was Cashman. Professional ballplayer.

Mike:

Well, they didn’t wait long to respond. Welcome back to New York, Carlos Beltran.

Jimmy:

Another guy who dreamed as a little boy of being in pinstripes.

Mike:

QBC2I bought my ticket this week for the QBC on January 18, 2014. I know it is a long haul for you to Queens in the winter, so I will say hi to everyone for both of us that day. The agenda is shaping up nicely.

Jimmy:

Yes, and it’s great for those guys at The 7 Line and Mets Police for making it happen. I’m not sure if I can make it down for the day, but it sounds like a lot of fun. Nice that Ron Darling and Ed Kranepool will be there. I only wish they could have gotten some of the all-time most hated Mets for the dunking pool. I’d line up for a shot at Richie Hebner.

Mike:

I’ve spent time with both Darling and Kranepool in the past and they are both very genuine guys. Great gets. If they ever had Hebner I would give you all my tickets, defer to the guy with the better arm.

No “I” in team.

 

 

 

 

 

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12 comments

  1. Eric says:

    I’m on-board with the Next/First/Best Opportunity at either SS, 1b or Pitcher….one “obvious” anchor move and the rest as mix/match.

    They are about 400 innings short at SP. Reality id that they can afford MAYBE 200 at market—that’s a 9-12 menu for a bare basics guy. Not sure whether they’re ready to scramble to assemble those innings internally. I don’t beliebve there’s much learn/gain from the Vegas experience, and I just don’t see the logic of paying a “clunker” 8 million bucks to suck….you might be as likely to get value from a 1-2 million retread as you are from a 8 million dollar “hope”.

    I’d prefer a SS move…… and prayer over the fill of innings….let the young guys pitch….the exposure to “super 2″ is speculative versus the SURITY of a one year 10,000,000 patch. Let first base “play out”….as long as you’re willing to sit/cut Ike.

    BTW while there is no “I” in team, it also lacks a “WE” and an “US”

  2. Alan K. says:

    If the Mets could get a SS and we can get a picture of Jeff wearing Mickey Mouse ears, I think it it would be a very productive week.

  3. RAFF says:

    I think I see glimpses of A PLAN. Sandy spoke, a short while ago, about having “more proactivity internally”. At the time, his conjuring made my head spin around, leaving me spewing green goo, like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. Now? It’s actually beginning to make a little sense. The recent moves, dating back to the acquisition of Eric Young Jr., leave me thinking- Maybe There’s Some Method to This Madness. The Mets now have a great deal of lineup and roster flexibility. They have multiple major league players who can play multiple positions. They are in a position to trade with a great amount of flexibility, due to the presence of players on their roster who can play multiple positions, along with the ability to selectively trade for talent to fill in. If the Mets get bowled over in offers for one of the First Basemen or Murph, they have the ability to make the deal and back-fill with what they have. If they make NO Trades- They can continue an open-audition for 1B, SS, and CF.

  4. James Preller says:

    I feel like we should be writing about Lagares a little bit. The Mets just signed two guys who can play CF. Should he be nervous? However, he is the guy who best fits into the budget. I like him. I hope he has the support of the organization.

    • James Preller says:

      I also wonder if teams have asked about him. And if there was any subtext to the recent knee examination.

    • Alan K. says:

      Lagares only hit .242 with a .280 OBP and only 4 HR in 421 plate appearances with his numbers falling off sharply after July. In addition, he played only 17 games in AAA before being called up. Lagares fits well into the budget but he may need more time in AAA.

      • Patrick Boegel says:

        He is passed the point of value at AAA. His numbers last year were typical for a guy still learning nuances of the pro game. Fans like to use the word “exposed” as a construct for labeling a player and their ability. I prefer miscast, or in the case as you say with Lagares, rushed. But even so, if you look at his numbers last year, it was not as if he suddenly was flailing at pitches and his K rate jumped.

        He actually was pretty steady after May, which is a short stint of a few dozen plate appearances. He does not yet possess the power to put the ball over the wall with any frequency, so his outcomes are decidedly driven by where the ball lands. His July was exceptionally fortunate, his August less so, September it is hard to have BABIP that low without it being driven by a fair amount of bad luck.

        I don’t like we are on the verge of stud two way player in Lagares, but he had some very good production along the way in the minor leagues.

        If he can be a guy who plays real gold glove defense (not Rafael Palmeiro DH 125 games and win) plus hit 260-275, with an OPS of around .725, that would be nice. His numbers in pro career hint that is not terribly unlikely.

        • It is encouraging that he works hard, reportedly, and just enjoyed a terrific winter league season (with the usual caveats).

          I like him a lot, in that I’d really like to see him get 500 ABs.

          I’m wondering if Sandy does.

  5. Eric says:

    Puello fits the budget as well…den decker…..neuinheiss…….ey… on and on….and they have flex to move guys to cf if lagares doesnt pop.

    • James Preller says:

      Clearly they just signed that flexibility. My question is: Do they believe in Lagares? And also: Is he a potential piece in a trade?

      • Patrick Boegel says:

        I suppose he could be. I am always of the mindset never rule anything out. I don’t care who it is, for the right piece it can always make sense.

        If I had to guess though, their thought pattern with the outfield has to be, Young, Lagares, Granderson, several fail safe options such as Puello, and some lesser guys like Den Dekker.

        Goal right now has to be to make 2 of 3 positions upgrades. SS, 2B, 1B.

        Tough work.

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