Brandon Nimmo

Wilpons Need To Stop Messing With Mets Fans

With Steve Cohen, things have changed so much for the better. Just look at this offseason, So far, the Mets have given record deals to keep Edwin Díaz and Brandon Nimmo. They have also brought in Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, Omar NarváezJosé Quintana, and David Robertson. In the past, it would take the Wilpons more than a decade to bring in all of these players, and of that group, we’d never be able to consider a Verlander coming to Queens.

However, even with the Wilpons gone, they still find ways to mess with New York Mets fans. Of course, it comes with them being cheap and not realizing the value of franchise greats.

SNY (read, the Wilpons) always seems to do this with Keith Hernandez. They make the contract negotiations more prolonged than they need to be. In many ways, they don’t realize his value to the franchise and their broadcasts. Keep in mind, Hernandez and his commentary keeps fans tuned in during blowouts because fans want to hear Keith in those situations. That’s not hyperbole.

Actually, maybe the Mets do realize Hernandez’s value. It may be much more likely they really just don’t care. Based upon their ownership of the Mets, we can safely assume that is the case.

That is what actually makes this worse. They already have their billions from the sale of the franchise. They were financially made whole from the Madoff Ponzi Scheme scandal. Now, they’re just making money off the Mets like they always do.

There is going to come a point in time where Keith steps aside, and we are no longer going to have Gary, Keith, and Ron. However, that has to come on GKR’s terms. They’re Mets legends, and they earned that right as they are about to surpass Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy, and Ralph Kiner as the longest serving Mets announcing trio.

The Wilpons cannot mess this up. They’ve already messed up too much, and for all they have done, this would be a step too far. We shouldn’t put it past them. All we can do is hope they finally do the right thing by the fans.

Jeff McNeil Another Met For Life

Before Steve Cohen, the only players who were New York Mets for life were Ed Kranepool and David Wright. Kranepool was a semi-regular player who set records mostly due to longevity, and Wright appeared to be a Hall of Famer until he succumbed to spinal stenosis. Taking them both together, the Mets never really had a homegrown star who spent their entire careers with the team AND had their career end on their own terms.

Now, with Steve Cohen, it now looks like there will be two. Earlier in the postseason, Brandon Nimmo was given the largest contract to a homegrown Mets player. It now appears he will spend his entire career with the Mets. It also appears as if he will be joined by Jeff McNeil.

As many Mets fans were hoping to see, McNeil signed an extension with the team. He received a four year $50 million extension. This contract also includes a team option which could make it a five year $63.75 million deal. Based upon his performance, it may not be too soon to surmise it is really a five year deal.

To many, there was a shock over how low the contract total was. That wasn’t necessarily the Mets being cheap, or McNeil undervaluing himself. Mostly, it is the system at play. McNeil would not have been a free agent for another two seasons, which suppresses his earning ability over that time frame.

Keep in mind, McNeil wanted to stay, so in some ways, agreeing to an extension now was to try to maximize his return now. He wasn’t going to be a free agent until his near mid-30s, and he would not be a free agent in his early 30s. Despite that, he had tremendous value to this Mets organization.

Remember, McNeil is already a two time All-Star. He has won a batting title. He is a very good second baseman and better left fielder. He’s perhaps the best suited in all of baseball to thrive in the soon-to-be no shift era. Mostly, he is a player who has been a great Met, and he wanted to be a Met for his career.

The Mets stepped up in a way they almost never did before Cohen. They signed a very good player important to the team’s success now. They signed a guy who was a fabric to this team and wanted to be here. Now, it appears he and Nimmo are set to join Kranepool and Wright as Mets for life, and Mets fans are blessed this is the case.

Mets Should Sign Trevor Bauer

Back when Steve Cohen first purchased the New York Mets, the team was very close to signing Trevor Bauer. That was even with there being issues with Bauer and his treatment of women. It’s fair to say the rumors weren’t at the levels of what would eventually led to Bauer receiving the largest ever suspension in Major League history, but there was something there.

Now, the Mets are in winner-take-all mode. This is an offseason where the Mets gave Edwin Diaz a record deal for a reliever, and they gave Brandon Nimmo the largest deal ever to a homegrown Mets player. Oh, by the way, the team also signed Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, Jose Quintana, and Omar Narvaez. They also did all they could do to sign Carlos Correa.

Cohen wants to win, and apparently, the Mets finish to the regular season and Wild Card round exit has only spurred him to push harder. That leads to Bauer being released by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’s now a free agent with any team able to sign him for $720,000.

For Cohen, that amount is something he finds in his couch cushions. Based on his unprecedented spending spree this offseason, that is nothing to him. Certainly, you can argue he should use that money to sign Bauer like the Mets wanted to do back before Bauer signed with the Dodgers.

After all, by signing Bauer, the Mets would exclusively control his rights. They can use that to make sure he never pitches in a game in 2023 and perhaps never again. They would being a civic duty by doing this.

This is also doing a favor to baseball. Remember, back when Cohen was snatching up free agents, one of the prevailing rumors was the other 29 owners were angry with him and would be complaining to the commissioner if they had not already. By signing Bauer and not playing him, Cohen would be doing the other owners a favor.

First, he would be ensuring Bauer doesn’t play. Second, he would be saving the other owners from themselves. After all, we see what the Atlanta Braves did with signing Marcell Ozuna, and the Chicago Cubs did with their keeping Addison Russell. Sometimes, teams and Major League Baseball needs to be protected from themselves.

Here, Cohen should be the hero. Sign Bauer and then never play him. Let him rot into obscurity. Push him a further year away from ever playing again making the chances of him ever playing again all the more remote.

Mets Last Postseason Run Distant Memory

When the New York Mets played the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card Series, it was the first time the Mets were in the postseason since they were in the postseason in 2016. In fact, that marked just the second time in team history the Mets went to the postseason in consecutive seasons.

While just seven years ago, none of the players from those 2015-2016 Mets teams are around anymore. Actually, that’s not entirely true with Jerry Blevins working on the SNY postgame and occasionally filling in for Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez.

Blevins isn’t the only player who is retired. Look back at their starting lineup in Game 1 of the 2015 World Series. Almost all of those players are retired:

  1. Curtis Granderson – retired
  2. David Wright – retired
  3. Daniel Murphy – retired
  4. Yoenis Cespedes – attempting a comeback after retiring
  5. Lucas Duda – retired
  6. Travis d’Arnaud – Atlanta Braves
  7. Michael Conforto – San Francisco Giants
  8. Wilmer Flores – San Francisco Giants
  9. Kelly Johnson – retired

That is five retired and one more effectively retired. Notably, with Johnson, we saw Michael Cuddyer and Kirk Nieuwenhuis pinch hit in that DH spot, and both are now retired. If anything, it would seem the San Francisco Giants is the official team of the 2015 Mets.

As we see with Conforto and Flores, there are still some of those Mets players still in the majors, Matt Harvey notwithstanding. However, when Jacob deGrom signing with the Texas Rangers, there are currently no players from that team still with the Mets organization.

When Seth Lugo signed with the San Diego Padres, that left the Mets with absolutely no pitchers from that two year run. When Conforto signed with the Giants, that meant Brandon Nimmo was the only Mets player from that two year stretch to remain with the Mets, and he only played in 32 games.

When deGrom signed with the Rangers, we obviously lamented the second greatest Met ever leaving the organization. However, it was Conforto and Lugo leaving which officially turned the page on those teams with so much promise which ultimately fell apart due to the Wilpons malfeasance and cheapness.

In a sense, we should welcome this chapter forever being closed. Now, it is all about Steve Cohen and how he runs the Mets. So far this offseason, that means Nimmo is a Met for life in addition to adding Justin Verlander, Koudai Senga, Jose Quintana, David RobertsonOmar Narvaez and hopefully, Carlos Correa. Oh, and by the way, the Mets brought back Edwin Diaz and Adam Ottavino.

So yes, it is sad to see a part of Mets history gone, but we will have those memories. More than that, we have an exciting new era and owner. Now, it is time to just wait for Correa to sign, and the Mets to win a World Series.

You’re A Reviled One, Mr. Cohen

You’re a reviled one, Mr. Cohen
You made Correa a steal,
You’re moves stings like a cactus, you got him even with McNeil, Mr. Cohen,
You’re a bad banana with an incredible infield

You’ve got Verlander, Mr. Cohen,
You filled the deGrom sized hole,
Your pocket is full of dollars, you have Gotham in your soul, Mr. Cohen,
I couldn’t touch your pitching with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole!

You’re a foul one, Mr. Cohen,
You have Nimmo and his smile,
You have all Alonso’s sweetness of a swing hitting it a mile, Mr. Cohen,
Given a choice between the two of you’d call in sick for a while!

You’re a rotter, Mr. Cohen,
You’re the king of concession spots,
Your ballparks got helmet nachos with Mr. Softee instead of those lame Dippin’ Dots, Mr. Cohen,
You’re a three decker sauerkraut hotdog and double burger with extra Shack sauce!

You nauseate me, Mr. Cohen,
With a payroll super cost!,
You’re Scherzer is joined by a Koudai, and you sold McCann at a loss, Mr. Cohen,
Your opponents are left as an appalling dump heap overflowing with the most intimidating
assortment of pitches imaginable putting batters in tangled up knots!

You’re a foul one, Mr. Cohen,
You’re Omar catches pitches that sunk,
Your Edwin had us soil our jocks, your Quintana puts us in a funk, Mr. Cohen,
The three words that best describe the NL East opponents follows, and I quote,
“Stink, stank, stunk”!

EDITORS NOTE: Adapted from “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”

MLB Owners Didn’t Care When Wilpons Didn’t Spend

Truth be told, Steve Cohen has been spending at a level no one anticipated. We should have anticipated there would be backlash to that with Major League Baseball trying to establish a system to discourage spending to build a team.

To some degree, you have to give the other owners credit. They were tight-lipped last offseason when the New York Mets free agent spree was highlighted by Max Scherzer and Starling Marte in addition to the Mets trading for Chris Bassitt.

They bit their tongues as the Mets signed Justin Verlander, José Quintana, David Robertson, and Koudai Senga in addition to re-signing Edwin Díaz and Brandon Nimmo. It’s fair to assume they weren’t happy, but they didn’t react publicly. Then, Carlos Correa happened.

Cohen and the Mets initially made a too late push for Correa, and Correa signed with the San Francisco Giants. To be fair, the Giants offered more than the Mets were willing to offer. If you were a skeptic, you were left believing Scott Boras was using Cohen and the Mets to extract every last dollar from the Giants.

After that, Correa “failed” his physical leading the Giants to try to renegotiate the deal. Boras being Boras treated this as an opportunity to re-open the bidding for Correa with the Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers re-entering the picture. In the end, it would be the Mets who signed Correa to a 12 year $315 million deal.

This is what caused the rest of baseball to snap. In an article from The Athletic by Evan Drellich, the other owners, who did not go on record, spoke about this disdain about how Cohen has conducted his business this offseason. There were a few choice quotes speaking about how Cohen was not stopped by control measures put in place for him to not outspend what other owners and markets were willing to do.

Note, the choice of the word willing isn’t of able. That choice was highlighted by an unnamed source who said, “There’s no collusion. But . . . there was a reason nobody for years ever went past $300 million. You still have partners, and there’s a system.” Another choice quote was, “We’ve got somebody with three times the median payroll and has no care whatsoever for the long-term of these contracts, in terms of the risk associated with any of them.”

Essentially, owners don’t like or feeling comfortable going to the lengths Cohen has been willing to go. That’s not the same as can’t go. They don’t want to go there, and as Drellich astutely points out, owners are not happy Cohen is raising the price of player contracts.

This is much in the same way the Wilpons restricted player salaries. They had a team in the largest market in the world, and they couldn’t spend on players. Having a very large market out on a player suppressed player salaries, which is why other owners had zero issues with the Wilpons.

They didn’t care about the psyche of Mets fans or what not having a large market non-competitive for all but two years in a decade was doing to the growth of the sport. All they cared about is players were cheaper. They left money and growth at the table to make their bottom line better. Now, they’re faced with the choice of spending a little more to be competitive, or as we see with the Tampa Bay Rays, find real ways to be competitive other than artificially suppressing player salaries.

Make no mistake here, the other 29 owners didn’t give a damn about their fans, especially Mets fans. It was all about their profit margin, which is what Cohen is directly impacting despite their efforts to stand in the way. In the end, not one fan should care what they think because they certainly didn’t care about Mets fans when the Wilpons were actively destroying baseball.

 

 

Carlos Correa Is A Met, Wow, Just Wow

When Steve Cohen took over the New York Mets and went on an unprecedented spending spree for the franchise, there were hopes he would land Carlos Correa. In fact, here, it was discussed how Correa was a future Hall of Famer and a perfect fit for the Mets.

To our shock and surprise, the Mets made a run at Correa this offseason even after re-signing Edwin Diaz and Brandon Nimmo in addition to signing Justin Verlander, Jose Quintana, David Robertson, Koudai Senga, and Omar Narvaez.. We thought Cohen had his limits, but apparently, he doesn’t have a limit. He is just that intent on winning the World Series this season.

Well, Correa had an issue with his physicals, and Scott Boras does not renegotiate based on physicals. So, when the San Francisco Giants balked, Boras went right back to the Mets, who were apparently happy to re-offer the 13 year $315  million contract they were willing to give Correa. Just like that, one year later, the Mets got their perfect fit.

When healthy, Correa is just as good as any player in the game. With the exception of last year, he’s an exceptional fielder, and you can argue last year was an indication he needed to move to third now anyway. He is a phenomenal hitter who hits the ball hard and draws walks. His only weakness is his back, and we should note the Giants did not balk at the physicals when it came to Correa’s back.

There is nothing to like about this move for the Mets. The lineup is deeper and more potent. The infield defense is so much better in a year with no shift. It is going to accelerate position changes on Brett Baty, Mark Vientos, and Ronny Mauricio they were eventually going to need to make anyway. Again, this is a great move from every angle.

More than the fit, what really stands out is Cohen really is doing everything possible to win. After years of the Wilpons tomfoolery, we see how a New York team really should operate. For every owner who claims they don’t have money to expand the payroll, Cohen is showing that to be complete and utter nonsense. He is making a mockery of every owners excuses.

New York Mets fans knew the Wilpons could do much more than they did. They deserved better after the Wilpons. We expected more. However, in no way did we ever or could we ever expect this. This was simply astounding, and World Series or not, we can just appreciate a team really trying to win a World Series.

Braves Don’t Have A Shortstop

Give the New York Mets credit for a lot of things this offseason. Chief among them was keeping Brandon Nimmo.

It wasn’t just keeping a homegrown player who wanted to stay a Met. It was the fact there was no other everyday center fielders on the market.

The Mets were left with no other choice to but keep Nimmo. They did that giving him an eight year $162 million deal. This assured the Mets were going to well surpass the Cohen Tax.

The Atlanta Braves weren’t in the same position with Dansby Swanson to open the offseason. However, they’d eventually find themselves there.

Trea Turner went to the Philadelphia Phillies. After the San Diego Padres missed out on Turner, they landed Xander Bogaerts. After Carlos Correa signed with the San Francisco Giants, only Swanson remained.

This is where the Braves needed to step up and sign Swanson. Instead, he signed a seven year $177 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.

As a result, the Cubs team derided most of the offseason for doing nothing has an All-Star, Gold shortstop. The Braves are left with nothing.

Sure, maybe the Braves had a trick up their sleeve when Freddie Freeman was a free agent. When he didn’t sign for their price, they traded for Matt Olson and gave him one of those classic Braves extensions.

With that in mind, when the Braves acquired Sean Murphy in the three way trade with the Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers, they failed to shake Willy Adames loose.

There also doesn’t seem to be any shortstops on the trade market. That may end in them giving the job to Braden Shewmake. The 24 year old played 76 games in Triple-A and had a .715 OPS.

Whatever the result, despite the Braves being flush with cash, they punted at shortstop in free agency. Even better, there are rumors the Braves, who are again flush with cash, are rumored to be considering trading Max Fried to cut payroll.

The Mets are doing all they can to win. The Braves don’t have a shortstop. Keep in mind, both teams had 101 wins meaning the Mets are a much bigger leg up in capturing the NL East.

Luis Guillorme Should Be 2023 Mets Second Baseman

In 2023, Major League Baseball will eliminate the shift putting more of a premium on defense up the middle of the infield. As a result, the New York Mets should really be considering making Luis Guillorme their everyday second baseman in 2023.

Part of the reason for this need is Pete Alonso at first base. While Alonso had a promising defensive 2021 season, he completely regressed in 2022 with a -8 OAA. It was the worst he’s ever been, and the Mets can’t shift away his defensive issues anymore.

Now, Jeff McNeil was a good defensive second baseman last season. In fact, he was Gold Glove caliber with an 8 OAA. That wasn’t exactly a fluke with a 4 OAA the previous season. That said, Guillorme is just better.

Guillorme posted a 3 OAA at second last season in 301.1 fewer innings. With more chances and reps, he would have posted a higher total. Moreover, he’s lightning quick on the double play, makes the difficult seem routine, and he makes the impossible into an out.

To be honest, getting Guillorme’s glove onto the field has never really been the issue or a debate. Credit is due and owing to Buck Showalter for recognizing that importance over previous Mets managers, and we saw Guillorme have a strong 2022 season as a semi-regular/back-up player.

The issue has always been the bat with him, and certainly, people are going to argue they do not want to displace McNeil. With respect to McNeil, the truth is he’s typically hit better as an outfielder. In 2022, he had a .852 OPS as a second baseman. That’s phenomenal but not as good as the .863 OPS he had as a left fielder or the .896 he had as a right fielder.

That is McNeil’s career trend. As a second baseman, he has a .804 OPS as a second baseman. He has a .853 OPS in left, and a .860 OPS in right. This is probably the result of McNeil having fresher legs when he plays the outfield against second, but he has always been a better hitter when he has been in the outfield.

So, the move makes sense for McNeil, but that does bring the Mets power outage from 2022 into concern and the continued need to address it. Certainly, Guillorme and his .340 SLG won’t help that. That is true, but again, that is only part of the offensive equation. Another point here is how eliminating the shift will directly impact a player like Guillorme.

Guillorme is a player who sprays the ball around the field. Of note, when he hit against the shift, he had a .271 wOBA, but when there was not shift, he had a much better .313 wOBA. That pulls Guillorme more towards being an average hitter like his 106 wRC+ from last season would indicate.

Remember, that is league average offense at the bottom of the lineup. Guillorme isn’t going to strike out much, and historically, he walks a fair amount. For an eighth or ninth hitter, that is quite good. He can put it in play with runners on base, and he can help table set for when the lineup turns over to Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor.

Speaking of Lindor, he and Guillorme would be an elite combination up the middle. At a time with no shifting, they will be two middle infielders who can thrive without shifting.

Overall, Guillorme can provide elite defense at second at a time where the rules put an imperative on up the middle defense. He can be a very good eighth or ninth place hitter. His presence in the lineup and on the field can and will make the Mets a better team. As a result, the Mets really need to think long and hard about making him the everyday second baseman next season.

Carlos Correa Shows Steve Cohen Good For Baseball

If you blinked, you missed reports Carlos Correa was possibly going to the New York Mets. It would have simply been a stunning move for a franchise which already signed Justin Verlander and Brandon Nimmo to huge money as the Mets have been charging towards the $400 million payroll mark.

There was a report from Dan Hayes of The Athtletic. We also saw Steve Cohen out there liking tweets about the team going out and signing Correa. Normally, this would be unbelievable, but there was now belief this could actually happen:

Well, as we found out, it actually wasn’t to be. Correa went to the San Francisco Giants on a 13 year $350 million deal. For Correa, it was probably the better move, and as we know, the Giants had a far more desperate need for Correa than the Mets.

Certainly, it is possible Scott Boras was using the Mets for leverage. It’s also possible Cohen was having a little fun on Twitter.

However, one thing remains ostensibly clear – the New York Mets are not done looking for ways to improve the team. That means even if they have to continue to raise their payroll well above and beyond what anyone believes could be possible for a professional sports franchise.

Make no mistake, this is very good for baseball. Owners going out there and signing players to vastly improve their teams can only be viewed as good for the sport. We should actively celebrate and encourage teams trying to win.

Spending money on players is not a bad thing. Winning is not a bad thing. Believing those things are bad things is incredibly stupid.

Seriously, go as a New York Yankees fan if they regret winning the 2009 World Series after the team went out and signed Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, and A.J. Burnett and trading for Nick Swisher. Go ask Pittsburgh Pirates fans what is is like to see their team never signing anyone of significance and watching beloved players just leave the franchise without winning anything.

As Mets fans, we know exactly what this is all like. We’ve been desperate for ownership to actually invest in winning. We were tired of the cheap moves. We wanted real action. After all, we watched it happen across town for over 20 years.

In the end, actively trying to win is good for the Mets, and it is good for baseball. It is as fan friendly as it gets, and keeping your fans happy is the best way to maintain and grow interest in the sport. Arguing otherwise is just plain stupid, and likely, it is sour grapes.