I don’t understand who came up with the rumor that Yoenis Cespedes could resign with the Mets. It’s not going to happen. I don’t care that he said:
Can Cespedes see Mets as long term home? "Something I can't control…I would love for everything to work out & stay for a long time"
— Mike Vorkunov (@Mike_Vorkunov) August 4, 2015
Keep in mind, the Tigers are optimistic the can resign him:
The thing is Cespedes has said he wants to stay with the Mets and Tigers long term. You know where he really wants to go? The same place every player wants to go . . . the team that offers him the most money. Think about it. Why would a Cuban defector want to go to Oakland? It’s because they offered the most money. How much does Cespedes want? Think big:
Even if this is what it’ll take to resign him, the Mets need to agree to that deal within five days after the World Series. My impression is if the Mets do offer it, Roc Nation will shop it around and get a better deal for Cespedes.
Keep in mind the Mets didn’t magically become flush with cash. They’re actually going to have to pay David Wright next year. I can’t imagine the Mets going from asking the Athletics (twice) and Braves to kick in money on a trade and then spending like drunken sailors next year.
Also, the Mets have a pending logjam in the outfield next year. Curtis Granderson will be making $16 million. Michael Cuddyer will be making $12.5 million. Juan Lagares will be making $2.5 million. Michael Conforto has already found his way to the majors and may be in the mix next year. Plus, Brandon Nimmo is not far away.
They’ll have to move someone to make room for Cespedes, and they won’t have enough time to do it. They’ll also have to determine what to do with Daniel Murphy, who is a free agent. I think the Mets might’ve initially been inclined to let him walk. However, with the second base uncertainty and David Wright’s back, they may look to bring him back.
So, Mets’ fans need to enjoy Cespedes now because he won’t be back. Hopefully, he will get a bump in salary after a good postseason, maybe even a World Series title. That is our best case scenario.
It looks like the Mets made the biggest addition at the trade deadline this year. Yoenis Cespedes? No. Travis d’Arnaud? Nonsense. The Mets got Matt Harvey back. I don’t think Mets fans believed he was real anymore.
Harvey is a 1950 film starring Jimmy Stewart. Jimmy Stewart’s character is a grown man whose best friend is a 6’3″ invisible rabbit. Everyone thinks he’s crazy that he had seen this rabbit. A comparison for people more my age is Snuffleupagus. Anyway, I was starting to feel like Jimmy Stewart.
For his part, Harvey thinks he finally put it all together in his last start. It showed tonight. He was perfect through 5.1 innings. He got out of a subsequent jam without letting up a run. In the seventh, there was some soft hits starting another rally. However, he got out of that jam when Juan Lagares reminded everyone he’s a terrific CF in chasing a ball down in the right center field gap. Overall, Lagares seemed to have an extra hop in his step tonight. It really showed in the field.
The eighth inning was not kind to Harvey. There was a phantom HBP call, which was upheld by replay. Two singles later, and the score was tied at one. A good defensive SS (which the Mets ha no interest in at the trade deadline) would’ve at least knocked it down.
Initially, Tyler Clippard came in and made Sandy Alderson look great by striking out Jayson Werth looking on a 3-2 count after a lengthy at bat (it wasn’t a strike). He then walked two batters in the ninth forcing Terry Collins to bring in Jeurys Familia, who got out of the inning.
After the Gomez drama, we finally had a Wilmer Flores sighting. With Collins’ platoon system, he started on 2B, made a nice defensive play, and knocked in the first run that looked like it was going to hold up. He had received three standing ovations from the fans. Sorry make that FOUR with his walk-off homerun in the twelfth. You have to love and respect this kid.
By the way, the platoon system was on acid today. With the lefty Gio Gonzalez starting, the Mets went with Wimer Flores at second, Juan Uribe at third, Juan Lagares in center, and Eric Campbell in left?!?!? Furthermore, Daniek Murphy was at first because, why not?
This was the biggest win of the year in the biggest series of the year. Because the Mets smartly set their rotation coming out of the All Star Break, they throw Jacob deGrom tomorrow and Noah Syndergaard on Sunday. Oh yeah, some guy named Yoenis Cespedes makes his debut for the Mets tomorrow. I heard he can hit the ball out in Citi Field.
Time to get excited Mets fans. We have meaningful games in August.
“Look at me, I can be Centerfield.” That is about as fun as the baseball songs get. Another one of my favorites is “Talkin’ Baseball” with it’s famous refrain of “Willie, Mickey, the Duke.” As you can see, Centerfield is an important position with much history in New York City. You always hear about those good old days of Willie, Mickey, and the Duke playing CF in New York City at the same time. That doesn’t seem fair or possible. The Yankees have had an absurd tradition with their centerfielders with Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. The Mets tradition hasn’t been as good, but then again whose has? However, we’ve had some fun names and good players come through and man centerfield in Flushing.
In 1969, the Mets had Tommie Agee, who for at least the 1969 World Series, was the best defensive CF to ever play the game:
Unfortunately, the Mets did try Willie Mays out in CF in the last two years of his career. From what I’ve been told, it did not end well. Then there was fan favorite Lee Mazzilli, who played for some truly awful Mets teams. However, he was the star, if not the MVP, of of the 1979 All Star Game (back when the ASG meant something). Lee Mazzilli then gave way to Ron Darling. They would both win a World Series together with the Mets in 1986.
Speaking of 1986, the Mets had two other fan favorites who played CF: Mookie Wilson and Lenny Dykstra. Both contributed to the 1986 World Series victory immensely between Dykstra’s leadoff homerun against Oil Can Boyd, and well, we know about Wilson:
After that, we saw a bit of a dry spell with highlights like Lance Johnson, the late Darryl Hamilton, Jay Payton, and Mike Cameron. Then, we were blessed with Carlos Beltran. Say what you will about the Wainwright strikeout, in my opinion, he’s even money on making it into the Hall of Fame, and there’s a significant chance he goes in as a New York Met. Although with the way he was treated here by the fans, and mostly by the Wilpons, he’s probably going in as a Royal.
Now after Juan Lagares’ 2014 Gold Glove season and reasonable contract extension, we’re back to who should play CF. This is important because Lagares has a triple slash line of .254/.280/.333. Even if he was what he was defensively last year, this is unacceptable. Honestly, I think a lot of it has to do with his injured elbow. Regardless, CF is now a problem.
It should be noted his splits against LHP are .279/.338/.412. That is much better especially when you consider his defense. Add to the fact that Kirk Nieuwenhuis has hit .333/.400/.444 over the past two weeks (mostly against RHP), there is a real platoon here. Niewenhuis is a very capable CF, but he’s not in Lagares’ league defensively . . . then again who is?
With the Yoenis Cespedes acquisition, there have been some overtures that Curtis Granderson move to CF, a position he hasn’t played since 2012. This is dangerous because the Mets starting pitchers get more outs in the air than on the ground this year. Here are their respective ground ball percentages:
Matt Harvey 44.4%
Jacob deGrom 43.2%
Noah Syndergaard 45.9%
Jon Niese 54.6%
Bartolo Colon 39.9%
According, with the exception of maybe Niese, the Mets need their best defensive outfield out there are all times. This means Lagares must play as much as possible. Granderson and his good OF defense should stay in a corner OF spot where it will remain good defense. While Lagares isn’t hitting and Nieuwenhuis is, the platoon should remain in place.
While we all agree the Mets need to ride their pitching to the postseason, we should also agree that they need to put their best defense out there to help the pitching. Remember helping a pitcher is more than just scoring runs . . . it’s also about preventing runs with good defense. The only effect the Cespedes acquisition should have on the outfield configuration is to demote Michael Conforto to AAA and put Cespedes in LF, where he has played all year. I think that outfield alignment is the best there is that is ready to go out there and play.
Look the main purpose of this blog is my reflections on the Mets as I’m raising my son to hopefully become a Mets fan. Here’s some advice I’m giving my son in the future:
Apparently, the Mets wanted to include Juan Lagares in the deal, who is a better player than Wilmer Flores, due to financial concerns. For their part, the Brewers didn’t want Lagares because of his questionable health. So the Mets then relented and agreed to trade Flores until they didn’t.
The Mets then called the Brewers to include money in the deal. Presumably because the was a fair value deal, the Brewers balked. They have Gomez under contract next year so they don’t need to make a rushed panic decision. Apparently after the overtures for more money were turned down, the Mets discovered Gomez’s hip issue.
Who do we believe? I do think there is some merit to the point that no one went on record. However, Tom Haudricourt is the Brewers beat writer, and accordingly, I presume he knows which sources he can trust and not trust. I don’t know his reputation or his work, so I’m not going to begin besmirching him now.
There may be some merit this came down the next day after Boras is on the rampage over the hip issue. Keep in mind it was Haudricourt, himself, has reported on Gomez’s hip issues. However, if the hip was such an issue, why is Gomez playing everyday?
Now, let’s move onto the Mets. Can they be trusted? This should be met with a loud and resounding NO! Time and time again, this organization has lied about its financial wherewithal only to not spend a dime. They have been so arrogant as to say they need more attendance to increase payroll. They’ve gone so far to question Mets’ fandom that they sent out a loyalty oath.
Furthermore, the Mets needed the Oakland A’s of all teams pick up money in the Tyler Clippard deal. In exchange, the Mets gave up way too much value in a potential future ace in Casey Meisner. It’s absurd. The rumors of Lagares’ potential inclusion in this deal over Flores only fans the flames.
The Mets say there’s money to add a significant contract. I said yesterday adding Gomez doesn’t add a significant contract. First off, Gomez’s contract is a relative bargain. Second, if they acquired Gomez, it would’ve been an excuse as to why they can’t reinvest Colon’s $11 million coming off the books (oh and they’ll pocket $2 million). Third, they’ve said money from Wright’s injury and Mejia’s suspensions that they have not fully reinvested yet.
At this point, I really do not know who to believe. While we have a million reasons not to believe the Mets, the fact remains Gomez had a hip issue that merited an MRI. Maybe the Mets saw a hip issue and thought if the Brewers don’t give us some financial support, we have to walk. I wonder if the Brewers are trying to preserve Gomez’s trade value. I wonder if there is an honest dispute over Gomez’s hip. I wonder what the Mets and Brewers do next.
The one thing I know is true is the Mets are dangerously close to losing their good will with the fan base.
Since, I’ve started this blog, I’ve written a lot about trade rumors. I’ve written how trading Wheeler for an OF who’ll be with the Mets is s good idea. I’ve written how the Mets should pursue Carlos Gomez over Justin Upton. Finally, I’ve written about how the Mets were done making impact trades.
So, here we are with Carlos Gomez, who is the perfect fit on this team. The Mets obtained him for Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flored.
First and foremost, with Juan Lagares’ suspect health and offense this year, he can play CF (he won a Gold Glove two years ago). He’s got a triple slash line of .266/.332/.409 and an OPS+ of 108. This all means he’s been very average at the plate this year.
However, he’s coming off two fantastic seasons that has been him with a .284 average and 24 homers. As you can see, Gomez’s main problem this year has been the power. It’s a gamble, but I’ll take the gamble.
Speaking of gambles, Carlos Gomez was previously traded away from the Mets. At the time, Omar Minaya “gambled” that Lastings Milledge was the better player. As a result, the Mets traded Gomez instead of Milledge for Johan Santana.
It’s funny, the Mets traded away Gomez to try to win the World Series. In 2015, they trade for him to try to win the World Series. I pray for better results. Unlike 2008, there may be some asking if the Mets gave up too much. I’ll admit the trade hurts, but you have to give away value to get value.
Before Zack Wheeler was injured, he seemed to turn the corner in the second half of 2014. Other than that, he was just an average pitcher with real promise. It’s a shame he needed Tommy John surgery. Now, he won’t be available to pitch until around the All Star Break next season. Judging by Matt Harvey’s season, Wheeler won’t be right until 2017, which is the season he’s arbitration eligible. He’s under team control until 2020.
There’s a lot to say about Wilmer Flores. Unfortunately, most of those things are about how he hasn’t been very good with the Mets this year offensively or defensively. However, he’s only 23, and he’s shown promise. He deserved his standing ovation.
I will write more about Wheeler and Flores later. I think they each need and deserve their own separate deeper analysis. Also, it’s fair to say they will be missed.
However, this deal is about Gomez and Sandy Alderson going for it responsibly. Gomez is under contract next season for $9 million. I’m not going to get snarky and say they still haven’t really took on money because that $9 million will be offset by Bartolo Colon’s $11 million coming off the books.
This is a major move involving a very good player. The Mets still need a SS and a LOOGY. They kept pieces to go get them. They’re a better team now with Gomez. It’s a good day to be a Mets fan.
I’m done with analyzing potential trades and players. I don’t think the Mets are making any more moves. I don’t think Sandy Alderson had the money to spend. He was bluffing at that press conference because that’s his job. He cannot announce to the world the Mets don’t have the money to add a contract. That’s foolhardy. It reduces your leverage in trade discussions, and it could keep fans away from the ballpark. Both are bad for business, and if anything, Sandy is a good businessman.
Therefore, I’m not going to address how well I think Gerardo Parra will fit on this team, especially given Juan Lagares’ questionable health and offense. I’m not going to address how a Jose Reyes deal will benefit the Mets on the field and in attendance. I won’t go into how Justin Upton has been lousy since April and will only drag the Mets offense further down. I’ve already wasted my breath on Jay Bruce. We all know Yoenis Cespedes and Carlos Gonzalez are not going to be moved by their teams.
Any other players the Mets get besides the aforementioned players are just background noise. They are bench parts that don’t have the day to day impact the Mets need on the field. If the Mets acquire someone, I’ll do a write up on the trade. If the Mets get one of the above, I’ll concede how very wrong I was.
I’m not being pessimistic. I’m being realistic. I do think the team on the field can compete for the postseason and the World Series. When Travis d’Arnaud returns, the team is that much better. If David Wright returns, and is at least a shadow of himself, watch out. If Steven Matz returns, we’re really cooking.
Instead of focusing on what could be, I’m going to focus on what is and enjoy that. I don’t think people do that enough nowadays. I’m going to sit down tonight and watch the Mets game with my son until he falls asleep. I’m going to watch the team on the field, and I’m going to enjoy the game (hopefully). I’m just not going to sit here anymore and fret over what could be. I’m going to enjoy what is.
As I wrote in my last post, the Mets have a lot of versatility. After thinking about it, I noticed something:
2B: Kelly Johnson (L) & Wilmer Flores (R)
3B: Daniel Murphy (L) & Juan Uribe (R)
CF: Kirk Nieuwenhuis (L) & Juan Lagares (R)
This is the making of the perfect platoon situation. Last night the lefties played against the right handed Zach Lee. The aforementioned lefties were in the lineup. Once the game was out of control, the better defensive players were the Juans who came out onto the field (can’t wait to use that pun again).
I believe Collins will look to ride the hot hand more than he’ll look to platoon players. However, when the Mets have faced lefties this year, he has loaded the lineup with right handed batters. I think the platoon system is the prudent way to go that unless/until the Mets get reinforcements (trades, players returning from injury).
Remember, the only two times the Mets won the Workd Series, they effectively used a platoon system.
In his heart of hearts, Terry Collins is an old school manager. You reward players with playing time. If you don’t do your job, take a seat on the bench. This team, while imperfect, is perfect for Collins.
Now, players will have to earn playing time. Before, Collins was throwing just praying that whatever buttons he hit would produce a run. This is not to disparage Collins. While I sometimes question his in game moves (like using Familia in the ninth tonight instead of Logan Verrette or Alex Torres) nothing that has happened with the offense thus far is his fault.
However, the pressure is all on him now. This team has interchangeable parts with limitations. He really only has three good defensive players: Juan Lagares, Juan Uribe, and Lucas Duda. There are only four players with an OPS over .700: Duda, Granderson, Johnson, and Uribe (even if there are problems with OPS calculation). For most of the season, the problem was how to get blood from a stone. Now, it is don’t screw it up. Saturday night was a great start to say the least. The Mets only scored the most amount of runs they scored in Citi Field.
I’d argue the most important development was Duda’s two HR game. For most people, present company included, Duda’s problems were lack of lineup protection and the weight of carrying this team. If Saturday night is any measure, the pressure is off, and he’s back to being the middle of the order threat the Mets need.
A very close second was Comforto’s night. Remember the old adage: sometimes the best trades you make are the ones you don’t make? Well, if the Mets got Parra, Conforto is still in AA. Conforto looks ready this is confirmed by his 4-4 game with 4 runs scored and an RBI. On a night like tonight, I’ll give the Mets the benefit of the doubt that Conforto needed those minor league ABs.
The third important development was Kelly Johnson and Daniel Murphy getting the start and taking advantage of the opportunity. Both players homered and gave Collins no reason to take them out of the lineup. It was also a smart move for Collins to get Uribe in the game. It was also good to see Uribe get a hit.
The rest was gravy. Matt Harvey was Matt Harvey. Apparently now, he’s a real threat at the plate with three consecutive multiple RBI games. Nieuwenhuis seems to be hitting again. The Mets finally beat up on weak pitching. There seemed to be a different energy to this club and to the ballpark. There was a lot to like.
However, we need to reserve judgment until tomorrow when Zack Greinke takes the mound. If the Mets get some runs off of him tomorrow, they really do have something. The Mets have a chance tomorrow not only because they’re throwing deGrom, but also because they have eight legitimate bats (sorry nine tomorrow) in the lineup. Lets Go Mets!
The Mets offense has averaged 2.87 runs in the month of July. Murphy was horrid in the field. Lagares has either lost a step or is playing out of position. The Nationals came to play and the Mets didn’t. Doesn’t matter. If you’re Matt Harvey and you want to be the ace, games like Monday don’t happen.
I can point to all the things that went wrong leading to the 5 runs scored while he was pitching, but the fact his he set up two of the scoring rallies by allowing Espinosa to get on and walking Harper. Should Murphy had made the play or at least knocked it down? Probably. Should Mayberry have been charging the ball better than Cuddyer can right now? Definitely. Should Tejada have had a clue and thought about Harper at third? Yes. Does Lagares catch that Robinson double last year? I think so.
However, I also think it’s fair to say too much has been thrust on Harvey. Most pitchers falter the year coming back from Tommy John surgery only to round into form the next year. (for e.g. Adam Wainwright). Unfortunately, with the way this roster is constructed, Harvey cannot learn his way back. He has to be THE MATT HARVEY now.
I have faith he’ll dominate next week against the Nationals. My faith is based upon his will to compete and his ability. I only hope by then the Mets have something to play for, and the Mets are at least competent at the plate and in the field.
Personally, I do not believe the Mets are going to move. I know I’m in the minority, but I’m starting to think that may not be a bad move. With that said, IF they were to make a move my vote would be Carlos Gomez.
My main interest in Gomez is he plays CF. We know of Cuddyer’s knee (and lack of production), but getting less play is Lagares’ offense and elbow. If Lagares goes down that means Kirk Nieuwenhuis from here on out. I know no one believes he’s going to repeat that three HR performance. Keep in mind SD came into the season with a CF problem, and Upton was never called upon to play center.
Also, Gomez makes less. This year he is earning $8 million compared to Upton’s $14.7 million. Obtaining Gomez would allow some payroll flexibility to go after another area of need like the bench or a LOOGY.
Finally, Gomez and Upton are having similar years. Upton has an OPS+ of 113 to Gomez’s 110. However, Gomez is more versatile in the lineup. He can comfortably hit leadoff or in the middle of the order. He helps the Mets in all the ways they need help.
I’m not sure why the Mets focus on Zobrist and his versatility when it’s Carlos Gomez’ versatility that they really need.