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Mets Needed To Agree To Long Term Extensions With Arbitration Eligible Players

Like it has been for most of their history, the Mets are currently build on starting pitching. That presents a problem for this organization because they will soon be in the unenviable position of having to rebuild their rotation over the ensuing few offseasons.

After the 2020 season, Marcus Stroman and Rick Porcello are going to be free agents. As a result, the Mets are going to have to address 2/5 of their starting rotation after the season.

The Mets will have to face the same exact situation the ensuing offseason as both Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz will be free agents after the 2021 season. That means over the course two years, the Mets are going to have to address how they want to handle 80% of their starting rotation.

Complicating matters is Michael Conforto hitting free agency the same time as Syndergaard and Matz as well as the shallow upper parts of the Mets farm system. How the Mets choose to address their rotation will be vitally important as Jacob deGrom has an opt out after the 2022 season.

After that 2022 season, Brandon Nimmo will be a free agent, Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil will be first time arbitration eligible, and Amed Rosario will be heading into his last season under team control. This means the Mets core is going to be quite expensive and on their way out to parts unknown over the next few seasons.

At this point, we should all be wondering what exactly is the plan here.

At times, the Mets seem all-in. We saw that not just with trading away prospects to get Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, but we also saw that with the Mets trading away prospects like Blake Taylor, Ross Adolph, Luis Santana, and Adam Hill for what amounted to be nothing more than complementary pieces.

On the other hand, the Mets don’t see remotely all-in when they fail to address the back-up catching situation and let Zack Wheeler, their second best pitcher over the past two years, leave the Mets to go to the Philadelphia Phillies. Couple that with the Mets not making a push for players like Gerrit Cole, Bryce Harper, and Manny Machado, or being active on the trade market for players like Nolan Arenado, Mookie Betts, or Francisco Lindor, this seems more and more like a team without a clear direction.

Now, part of that can just be a result of how ineptly the Wilpons and Brodie Van Wagenen have run this organization. Another aspect can be this team being in a relative holding pattern until Steve Cohen’s purchase of the club is finalized and approved. There may be other factors at play, and really, at this point, we are all just guessing.

What we do know is based on the control over the current core, the Mets window to compete for a World Series is right now, and the team has done little to push the team over the top. We also know that until this core is extended, the Mets window is going to be limited to just these two years.

When you look at things through this prism, you see the need to give extensions to at least some of your core. Certainly, that is the case when the goal is sustained winning and not just short windows. In theory, there is still 10 months to do that, but at the moment, the Mets have missed their biggest and perhaps best opportunity to do it once again leaving the impression this is an organization without a clear direction.

34 thoughts on “Mets Needed To Agree To Long Term Extensions With Arbitration Eligible Players”

  1. Oldbackstop says:

    They will be fine.

    You know, you run the Wilpons into the ground day in, day out, without acknowledging the talent they *have* accrued…deGrom, Conforto, Thor, Matz, Lugo, Rosario, Alonso, JD, Nimmo, McNeil, Dom, Rosario. All those guys were the result of conscious decisions under the Wilpons. Go look at the Phillies and find their homegrown talent.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I acknowledge they drafted well. I’ve said it many times. They do everything else poorly

  2. Oldbackstop says:

    You know, sidebar, I think Robinson Cano is a tremendous candidate for a comeback season. Yes, we know his age, but he is a shoe-in Hall of Famer who has demonstrated elite skills. Those are the guys who can pull out plus seasons, even into their forties.

    You often lionize guys with clear ceilings below an All Star level. Dom Smith will never, ever be an All Star. Steven Matz will never be an All Star. Rosario will never be an All Star. They do not have the elite skills.

    The Mets have accrued, generally at reasonable salary levels, a bunch of former All Stars who have actually demonstrated the elite skills that make them some of the rarest humans on the planet — MLB All Stars. Familia, Lowrie, Ramos, Cespedes, Porcello, Betances, Cano, Diaz. Many of these players have elicited scorn from you. Will all of them recover from their various handicaps (injury, age, slump) to return to elite level? No. But the odds are that of these former All Stars, a few will return to elite performances. Dom Smith will not. Steven Matz will not.

    BTW, do you know what Cano slashed after August 1 last year?

    .338/.409/.600/1.009.

    Yeah, he has lost a step around second. But a 1.009 OPS crushes that concern.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Given Cano’s year, sure, I can buy a bounce back year but not to the extent he’ll be an All-Star caliber player.

      As for Rosario and Dom, you’re selling short the ceilings of players who have yet to enter their primes with no particular end.

      As for Matz, he’s a good pitcher.

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        Matz is 31-36 with a 4.05 career ERA. He plays at replacement level. We waited long enough for him to look like even a middle of the rotation guy, and if Wacha and Porcello return to their career best forms in the spring, Matz might be in the pen.

        Dom will never make the All Stars…certainly not in the outfield, where he looks like he has a full diaper, and not at first base. Too many sluggers there. Rosario…look around the league, it is full of young stud SSs, who aren’t doing stretches leading the league in errors. He will never be elite at his position.

        If Cano has those slashes in April and May, he’ll be a feel good All Star. He has the star power to get the votes.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Matz was better than Porcello and Wacha last year, and here you are denigrating him because he wasn’t acquired by the cult of BVW.

          I’m sure you’d feel different for Dom and Rosario too if he was acquire by BVW since that is apparently your litmus test.

          1. Oldbackstop says:

            If Wacha and Porcello weren’t coming off bad seasons they wouldn’t be here on one year deals. Porcello is a 30 year old workhorse that is four years removed from a Cy Young and has won 30 more games than he has lost in his career. Some of his numbers look weak but he has been playing in the AL and in Fenway. He has averaged over 30 starts a year for nine years, and the following Mets have done that:

            Wacha is a former All Star (forgot to list him above), is *younger* than Matz, and has won 30 more games than he has lost in his career.

            Both of these guys have higher ceilings than Matz, who is a number 4 at best and may be a number 6 this year. Matz will *never*, ever be an All Star…there are three better starters just on the Mets, possibly five better come Opening Day.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            You’re stating a falsehood about the respective ceilings to support BVW. If BVW acquired Matz to replace Wacha, you’d be singing his praises.

          3. Oldbackstop says:

            Brodie started his career as GM with a nine win bump. The team has had a considerable turnover, so his acquisitions are the examples that matter.

            The rest of the team was acquired under the Wilpons by draft or trade. And you badmouth them in a wild-eyed fashion daily.

            The Mets had bad luck in 2019, as evidenced by their Pythogean score. The Braves played five games over that, as did the Nationals. In a year with average luck, the Mets would have been a lock for a wild card. If the Nats and Braves had the kind of luck the Mets did, the Mets would have been right there on winning the East.

            You continually take a wild click worthy position and then defend it to the death with cherry picked skewed stats, despite evidence presented to you. Is that how a blog works?

            .Thomas Paine said, paraphrasing “When new facts present themselves; I sometimes change my opinion. Don’t you ?!?!??”

          4. metsdaddy says:

            Stop making stuff up:

            1. The Mets had a nine game bump, but it was the players acquired by Sandy who did that. If BVW did nothing, the Mets likely have a better record.

            2. I have not had negative things to say about the drafts or the players drafted. I’d note that’s been your purview.

            3. Mets Pythagorean was exactly the same as their record.

            4. I back my opinions up with facts, data, and context, and you get bent out of shape about it to the point you dismiss the data and troll.

            5. Good for Thomas Paine, maybe take his advice.

  3. Oldbackstop says:

    Excuse me, I left a few out. Here are the recently acquired Mets with All Star-level credentials:

    Familia, Lowrie, Ramos, Porcello (CY), Betances, Cano, Diaz, Wacha, Stroman.

    To put these in the.perspective of your hero, Thor had one All Star appearance’ back in 2016. Porcello had his Cy Young that year. Familia was an All Star in 2015.

    All the other players listed have had an All Star appearance SINCE your hero Syndergaard, including five pitchers. Starting pitchers Porcello, Wacha and Stroman each have more wins over the past three years than Syndergaard’s 24 (Wheeler had 27).

    These nine are all guys who have been recognized recently as the best one or two at their position in the league RECENTLY. Nine guys, most of them fairly young, or really babies by your worldview of advocating the signing of 37 year old catcher Russell Martin. If just three of them can attain their recent peak years in 2020, say Diaz, Betances and Wacha, we will have one hell of a year.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      This is classic trolling where you rip Thor knowing he’s a player I believe is good while holding up Wacha, a 2015 All Star, as being better.

      You ignore the current level of performances because it’s convenient.

      Again, you’re trolling.

  4. oldbackstop says:

    Every time you are checkmated you whine trolling

    BVM has brought in nine former All Stars, all within the last four years, on very cheap deals, in the aggregate. These are true proven stars.

    If Michael Wacha, who has won more games than Syndergaard, Wheeler or Matz over the past three years, washes out, we are down $3 million.

    If Porcello, who has won more games than deGrom, Syndergaard, Wheeler, or Matz over the past three years, washes out, we are down $10 million.

    As to your topic here, extensions are nice, I hope we extended every promising kid once Cohen’s money gets here. Until then, read up on Juan Lagares. With four more years of control, he got a four year contract culminating in $9 million last year.

    Stop falling in love with every young boy you see, MD.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      If your using pitcher wins, using All Star appearances of yesteryear, and calling contracts like Cano’s isn’t trolling, but rather, a “fact check,” perhaps, I’ve been giving you too much credit.

  5. Oldbackstop says:

    If you are talking about a player who is is 29 or 30, factoring in an All Star season from 3 years back is certainly a milemarker. And wins is not my stat of choice, but comparing AL guys like Stroman and Porcello is a little tougher….and the Mets sure could use some guys who go get Ws.

    These guys are still young and they have elite accomplishments. Wacha was the NLCS MVP. Stroman has a Gold Glove on his resume. Porcello has 12 post season starts and two rings to go with his Cy Young.

    I think having Matz, Wacha, Porcello and maybe Lugo fighting for those last two spots and fortifying the pen is a pretty enviable spot to be in.

    Remember….Matz had a very rocky start to 2019. He went 1-5 in June and got bounced to the pen. He came around and finished well, but Matz has always had bad spells. And he isn’t making the minimum anymore…$5 million in 2020…Wacha is at $3 mil

    I would have no problem trading Matz for the right deal. If they could do a blockbuster and dump Lowrie, Dom and Matz, and either get back an elite bullpen arm plus a catcher or take that $15 million to shop for one. That sets up a competition of Lugo, Gsellman, Wacha and Porcello for the last two rotation slots, with the losers going back and further fortifying the pen (although Porcello might not fit there).

    1. metsdaddy says:

      You dump on Matz while ignoring Wacha’s shoulder problems and his having been worse than Matz.

      For example, last four years Wacha has a 94 ERA+ to Matz’s 95. Last two years, Matz also has a better FIP, more starts, and more innings.

      Anyone with a clue doesn’t make this a competition. The spot is easily Matz’s.

      1. oldbackstop says:

        Yeah, Matz had more starts. And Wacha had 26 wins to Matz 18.

        That’s my point here. Wacha at his best is an all star. Matzat his best, last year got thrown into the pen midyear

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Wacha had more appearances out of the bullpen last year than Matz.

          1. Oldbackstop says:

            This is what drives us all nuts about your posts MD.

            Why was Wacha pitching out of the pen last year and having short starts?

            Why was Matz in the pen mid-year?

            Hint: one was rehabbing from an injury. The other one was perfectly healthy but utterly collapsed on the month of June.

            It is a test. Let’s see how you do.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            Stop making up things, pretending their factual, and then using it to attack me.

            https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/07/cardinals-move-michael-wacha-back-to-bullpen.html

          3. Oldbackstop says:

            And in 2018 Wacha was 8-2 with a 3.20 ERA in 15 starts. The guy was hurt in 2019. You know how guys come back from long term injuries like Thor? DeGrom? Wheeler? Matz?

            Matz wasn’t hurt last year. He just sicked and was thrown in the pen.

          4. metsdaddy says:

            So, Wacha gets hurt and worse, but he’s going to be better than Matz who made adjustments and improved?

          5. Oldbackstop says:

            Wacha was on a very short leash at the end of year, but in his last 6 starts in September he had a 2.60 ERA.

            In Matz last 6 starts last year he had a 4.83 ERA

            So, yeah, I think it is quite possible Wacha, who is actually a month younger that Matz, could beat him out in spring training.

          6. metsdaddy says:

            Is this performance art?

          7. oldbackstop says:

            You are trolling your own site again, lol.
            Sad!!
            Let’s review.
            Age: Both 28, Wacha is a month younger.
            Career record: Wacha 59-39, Matx 31-36
            Career ERA: Matz 4.05, Wacha 3.91
            Career accomplishments: Matz 2015 6th in ROY; Wacha All Star in 2015, NLCS MVP
            Last 6 starts in 2019: Wacha 2.60 ERA, Matz 4.83 ERA
            2nd half 2019: Matz 3:51 ERA; Wacha 3.58 ERA
            2018 record: Wacha 8-2, 3.20 ERA; Matz 5-11, 4.97 ERA
            Salary: Wacha $3 million; Matz $5 million

            Questions:
            MD, why are you so forgiving of the injury status of Nimmo, who missed much of 2019 with a dangerous neck spinal issue and came back to hit.261 in 63 ABs; but not of Wacha, who finished the year with 2.60 ERA in his last six games?

            Why is the second half of Matz viewed as so dazzling at a 3.51 ERA, and Wacha as washed uo at 3.58 ERA?

            The only possible answer is that Matz went deeper into games. But, like Vargas the year before, he was being babied on a short leash by the manager. He also was a lame duck FA on a team with younger cheaper SPs coming along, and on a team that was dabbling with openers as a strategy. He was pulled out of a 2 hit shutout after two innings, a 3 hit shutout after 4 innings, and a 2 hit shutout after 5 innings.

            In 2018 Matz went 5.1 IP/GS, Wacha went 5.6.

            And, not for nothing, but Wacha had maybe three relief appearances in the majors when they threw him into a game in the 4th inning on May 29, and he gave up 6 runs in 1.0 innings. Remove that ill-advised usage, his numbers would have been better than Matz across the board.

            Summary: Wacha, while coming of an injury-plagued year, is slightly cheaper, slightly younger, far more accomplished than Matz. Matz was thrown into the bullpen last summer for performance….I think he will be thrown there on competition this year.

          8. metsdaddy says:

            You continue to do the things you falsely accuse me of doing, and your every comment is in full support of everything BVW does and to troll me.

            You pick out guys like Syndergaard, Nimmo, and Smith, whom I believe to be good players, and attack them while calling playing BVW acquired better.

            When I use stats to support my positions, you dismiss them, and then use whatever you want to fit your narrative.

            I’ll just reiterate you were given the stats which show Matz to be a clearly superior option to Wacha and his bum shoulder.

  6. oldbackstop says:

    This is literally the only sentence you have posted with Matz and a number: “For example, last four years Wacha has a 94 ERA+ to Matz’s 95. Last two years, Matz also has a better FIP, more starts, and more innings.”

    Huh. Now, why would MD dance around with his one sentence of stats with one *two* year stat and one *four* year stat? That’s weird. Let’s look further. Two years, four years….Split the baby….how about three years?

    ERA+ three year: Wacha beats Matz handily, 101 to 89.
    FIP three year: Wacha is lower 4.43 to Matz 4.69

    Three years game appearances: Matz 75, Wacha 74.
    Tree year game starts: Matz 73, Wacha 69
    Three year IP: Matz 381, Wacha 376

    Wins, ERA etc., I’m not typing it out. Wacha wins handily.

    In fact, let’s look further at three year games and wins.

    Porcello, 98 starts, 42 wins
    Wacha 69 starts, 26 wins
    Matz 73 starts, 18 wins
    Syndergaard 64 starts, 24 wins

    So….why did you pick one four year stat and one two year stat as your only two stats, MD? A little desperation?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It’s really funny how you ignore the better innings, FIP, GS, and innings over a two year period by throwing in stats like wins and by trying to look at numbers before Wacha suffered two season ending shoulder injuries.

      You then try to use ERA+ to denigrate Matz before completely abandoning it to try to denigrate Matz and Syndergaard by using wins.

      I really hope for your sake you’re trolling.

  7. oldbackstop says:

    “””It’s really funny how you ignore the better innings, FIP, GS, and innings over a two year period”””

    I didn’t ignore them. It just set off clanging bells that you cited one with two years and another with four years. I thought….”Oh my god. I hope that these stats don’t flip to the opposite when looked at in a compromise three year time window. I hope MD hasn’t sunk that low. I hope he doesn’t think his reader(s) are that stupid.”

    1. metsdaddy says:

      No, I used the most relevant recent data especially in light of the respective injury histories.

      I’d again note how you found that data irrelevant later when it came to your trolling.

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        Irrelevant? You bought up ERA+ and FIPs. I put the actual numbers to them.

        What is the “most recent relevant data” supposed to mean? You cherry picked to defend your indefensible position.

        You are trolling you own site again. Sad!!!

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Not cherry picking when you use the most recent data reflecting their current health status.

          1. Oldbackstop says:

            Four years is the most recent data when three years yields the opposite result????

            Again you are trolling your own site!!!

          2. metsdaddy says:

            You purposefully ignore what doesn’t fit your defense of all things BVW

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