Tyler Clippard

Mets in Danger of Losing Goodwill

Lately, the Mets had just started to build some goodwill with the fan base. First, the acquisition of Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson paid immediate dividends on Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday, the Mets gave up a substantial prospect to get Tyler Clippard. 

Late last night, the baseball world was shocked by the Troy Tulowitzki-Jose Reyes blockbuster. Immediately, Mets fans began clamoring to bring Reyes back to the Mets. I immediately looked to see the Mets’ interest level in Reyes:

  1. Jon Heyman reports the Mets have no interest;
  2. Joel Sherman agrees;
  3. Mike Puma and the New York Post report there will be no reunion;
  4. Marc Carig calls Reyes a tough fit;
  5. Andy Martino reports the Mets wouldn’t even seek a trade for Reyes with the Blue Jays. 

Alright, alright. I shouldn’t be surprised because the Mets were not interested in resigning Reyes in 2011. I get the point. However, I question if the Mets get the point. They’re risking the recent goodwill they’ve acquired especially with reports that Tulo wanted no part in coming to the Mets. 

I firmly believe with the Tyler Clippard overpay, the fans would’ve accepted it if the Mets couldn’t or wouldn’t make another deal. With them now twice passing to trade for Reyes (despite a need for a SS, a bat, and a leadoff hitter), the fans will grow angry with this team again for not getting the other player. The fans will not believe there is any more money to spend. 

Look, I love Reyes. Who didn’t love the Jose chant or his walk up music?  He brought a certain energy to the team and the stands. However, if this team doesn’t want him [again], we have to accept that.  

The Mets have to accept that something has to be done. The Mets are not interested in Carlos Gonzalez. The Mets traded the player the Brewers wanted for Tyler Clippard making a Gerardo Parra and/or Carlos Gomez deal more difficult. The Mets are competing with the Angels for Jay Bruce. 

The Mets have created this situation, and now, they need to do something. You could call the Reyes trade bad luck, but that covers up the fact they were not aggressively pursuing a SS. I’m curious to see where the Mets go from here. 

Get Us Jose Reyes

In shocking news, the Toronto Blue Jays traded Jose Reyes and prospects for Troy Tulowitzki. Earlier, it was reported the Mets came away thinking the Rockies were not serious about trading Tulo. I’m sure the Mets did their due diligence, but as Mets fans know, Reyes is a special player. 

Like the Rockies, the Blue Jays are not trading Tulo to the Mets. For starters, the Blue Jays are three games out of the second Wild Card (four in the loss column) and sport the best run differential in the American League. They’re not selling. If they’re looking to flip Tulo (or another bat) for pitching, the trade will not be for one of the Mets prospects. 

Now, I’m having the same thought every Mets fan is having. We want to hear the Jose, Jose, Jose chant at Citi Field again. In the offseason, it was reported the Rockies were considering trading Tulo and were scouting Noah Syndergaard. It has also been assumed the Mets wanted the Rockies to absorb some of Tulo’s contract. These were major sticking points on both sides. Obviously, the deal never got done. 

Tulo is being paid $20 million this year. He has $74 million remaining on his contract that expires in 2020. There is a $15 million team option for the 2021 season with a steep $4 million opt out clause. This is a steep price for someone who hasn’t played 140+ games in a season since 2011. 

Reyes has a big contract as well, but it’s not as long as Tulo’s contract. Reyes is being paid $22 million his year. He’s due $22 million in 2016 and 2017 ($44 million total) with a $22 million option in 2018 with another steep $4 million opt out clause. Overall, Reyes is due $30 million less in guaranteed future salary. 

What will it take to get Reyes?  I don’t know. While I wish I was an insider, I’m not. However, the Mets have the pieces to make this happen and have made overtures they can add a major contract.  Reyes fits in this team because it gives them the SS they need and he’s a bona fide leadoff hitter. If the Mets can swing the deal, it would allow them to put Granderson lower in the lineup to knock in runs. With Reyes on the team, there will be runners on base. 

I pray this deal gets done. With 2006 and the collapses, there is unfinished business here for a Wright and Reyes. The Mets now have the pitching to get it done. The Mets overpaid for Tyler Clippard. They can do the same for Reyes. It’s time to bring Reyes home. 

Stop Drinking the Kool-Aid

In a vacuum, Tyler Clippard is a great addition to the Mets. As I stated earlier today, the addition of Clippard helps the team. However, when I saw this deal I was angry. 

The Mets lied to us once again. Remember when Sandy Alderson said he could add a major contract?  Remember how he said that no one believed him?  Guess what?  We now have our proof that he can’t be believed. You know other than the other times he lied about payroll.

First, the Mets had the Braves take on $500,000 of salary in the Uribe/Johnson trade. In the Clippard trade, the “big market” Athletics took on one-third of Clippard’s remaining salary. With these two trades, the Mets have added the whopping total of $4.5 million in payroll. To date, the Mets have saved $4.43 million in salary due to Wright’s injury. This doesn’t even take into account the savings from the Mejia suspension. Translation: the Mets still have not added payroll. 

If you think I’m wrong, keep in mind Billy Beane was dealing with the Mets because he knew the Mets would have to give up a better prospect because the Athletics would have to pick up money

When the trade went down, Keith Law questioned this trade (I’m putting this mildly). As he states, the Mets trade of Casey Meisner was trading him “[f]or ten cents on the dollar.”  As he states, the Mets traded Meisner, a prospect of whom he has a fairly high opinion. He’s not the only one as another outlet called Meisner a future ace. All of this for 20 innings of a reliever with an expiring contract. 

Other than losing a future ace, the Mets potentially lost out on Gerardo Parra. Keep in mind a starting OF is always more valuable than a relief pitcher. In fact, Marc Carig reported Meisner was considered a valuable trade chip. So the Mets turned a valuable trade chip into a set up man on an expiring deal?  Mike Vaccaro is right, this front office commits malpractice

Also, I don’t want to hear Meisner is the Mets’ 15th ranked prospect. I don’t care if he was their 100th. You do not judge trades according to the number prospect the player is in your system. You value it according to the value of the player as compared to the value of what you are getting back. The 2015 Mets may be better, but the Mets’ organization is weaker as:

  1. They traded a valuable trade chip for a reliever;
  2. They lost a potential future ace;
  3. They harmed their chances of getting a bat;
  4. They are now forced to trade higher end prospects if they make another deal; and
  5. They confirmed they cannot and will not add payroll. 

I know Mets’ fans opinion is this is a great deal. I couldn’t disagree more. Maybe I’ll forget about this if they make the playoffs without the OF and LOOGY they needed. 

Mets Clipper?

Tyler Clippard began his career by beating the Mets in the Subway Series. Nine years later, the Mets may be looking to bring him back to New York. As of right now, he’s expected to be dealt soon

The Mets need bullpen help. The current Mets lefty relievers don’t get lefties out. After serious malpractice, Jack Leathersich is done for the year. Josh Edgin is done for the year with Tommy John surgery. They need a LOOGY. While he’s not a LOOGY, Michael Baron reports Clippard is effective against lefties. 

Aside from lefties, Clippard is an effective reliever. While he was not as strong this year than in year’s past, he has converted 17/21 save opportunities and has a 2.79 ERA. He’s had experience in pennant races and the playoffs. The Mets’ current bullpen lacks that experience. 

The Mets could use players with that experience in addition to a Jenrry Mejia replacement. Since Mejia was suspended for PED use, he is ineligible for the postseason. Right now the Mets have a 7-8-9 of Mejia-Parnell-Familia. That’s too much reliance right now on Mejia. You don’t want to go into the postseason wondering who you’re seventh inning guy is. 

Speaking of the postseason, Clippard has performed reasonably well. In six innings of work, he has a 1.50 ERA with a 0.667 WHIP and seven strikeouts. In October, I would be comfortable with him in the 7th, 8th, or 9th. 

So what’s the cost?  It is reported the trade is focused around Rafael Montero. I’m alright with that, even if Clippard is a rental. After being sent down, it was discovered he had a rotator cuff injury. He only recently began his minor league rehab. Typically, pitchers do not deal well with rotator cuff injuries. Even before the shoulder injury, Montero was considered to be a #4 starter, at best, who was not seen as a real bullpen option (he didn’t exactly dazzle in his bullpen performance this year). 

Montero will never crack this rotation (barring trade or injury), and I don’t think he will ever be a fixture in the bullpen. With the shoulder problems, I think the Mets should trade him sooner rather than later. Tyler Clippard fits the bill.