By Steven Inmanimages (1)

Throughout the entire postseason, Terry Collins had trouble finding a reliever to help bridge the gap from his starting pitcher to Jeurys Familia. That situation cost the Mets a few times leading up to the World Series. The Mets had hoped that a trio of Addison Reed, Tyler Clippard and Familia would help the Mets make games shorter. It certainly didn’t work out that way as Tyler Clippard looked finished by the time the postseason came around and Reed was the losing pitcher in the Mets final game of the season.

Reed is back after settling at $5.3M in arbitration with the Mets and Clippard is still a free agent. Expecting that Reed would be better than he was in ’15 and hoping somebody else internally stepped up as a set-up man was a naive approach for a contending club so the Mets went out and got arguably the best set-up man on the market in Antonio Bastardo.

Bastardo has been an elite reliever with the Phillies and Pirates the past few seasons. Being left-handed many assume Bastardo is strictly a lefty specialist but that is not the case. Right-handed bats have hit just .211/.308/.332 against Bastardo in his 7-year career. (LHB just .178/.277/.319) He can be the Mets 8th inning guy against lefties and righties.

While Bastardo’s big red flag came from being involved in the Biogenesis scandal a few seasons ago, the 30-year old lefty has been very durable throughout his career. Bastardo has not been on the disabled list since 2010. To continue being an elite reliever the lefty must limit his walks going forward.

Bastardo at 2 years for $12 million is a terrific signing for the Mets. Lesser relievers have done less and earned more this winter and the combination of Bastardo and Familia at the back end of the bullpen will be very formidable. This is a very good signing by the Mets and will help put less pressure on the Mets starters to go deep into games early in the season.

The Mets for the first time in the Sandy Alderson era have now addressed all of their needs in an offseason. They enter Spring Training as one of the favorites to return to the World Series.

By Steven Inmandownload (1)

In what looked like a pipe dream a week ago, is now reality. The Mets have reportedly re-signed free agent slugger Yoenis Cespedes to a 3-year, $75M deal. It appeared unlikely that the Mets would fork over this kind of cash for any player, let alone one that isn’t a perfect fit. Cespedes isn’t a true center fielder and lacks the on-base skills that Sandy Alderson and his front office normally crave.

That being said Cespedes is a difference making bat that turned the Mets’ worst ranked offense in July into one of baseball’s best. The Mets don’t sniff the postseason without the trade for Yoenis Cespedes. Now with their cleanup hitter back the Mets are just as good as the club that went to the World Series. New York enters the 2016 season as the favorites in the NL East. If the club can keep their young pitchers healthy it should be a very fun year in Queens.

The Mets deserve credit for spending the money and bringing back Cespedes. As his price continued to drop the club maintained that they would not go more than 3 years on a contract. Assistant GM John Ricco on SNY last month said it was highly unlikely the Mets would bring back Cespedes.

Alderson deserves credit for playing the market well and giving Cespedes enough incentive to return instead of taking a more lucrative offer from rival Washington. Having more money up front along with a year one opt-out certainly enticed Cespedes to return for at least another season.  Ownership deserves credit as well for forking up at least $27.5M to help round out a championship caliber team. The Mets now have a payroll near $140 million, their highest total since the end of the 2011 season. Fans can’t complain that the franchise doesn’t spend money now.

The deal is perfect for the Mets. They keep another key piece from last year’s World Series roster. They also don’t commit major money long-term which would allow them money in the future to still sign their super rotation long term. The Mets are also thrilled that with Cespedes’ opt-out he stays motivated for the possibility of cashing in again next winter at age 31. The deal is also good for Cespedes. If the slugger has a great year he will enter the free agent market as the best bat available. If he struggles or gets injured he would still have two more guaranteed years with the Mets at big money. Many thought the Mets would never spend enough to win. This is a very encouraging deal for the future of the New York Mets.

 

By Steven Inman

New York Mets Spring Training

Daniel Murphy’s bat will be missed on the 2016 Mets

After years of speculation that Daniel Murphy was on his way out of Queens, it has finally happened. Daniel Murphy held out hope this winter that the Mets would change their minds and negotiate with him but it never happened.

With Neil Walker becoming the Mets second basemen, Murphy, the 2nd longest tenured Met, is no longer is a fit. After the Neil Walker trade, Murphy’s agreement to join the rival Nationals came together fairly quickly. The Mets were never interested in bringing Murphy back on anything longer than a one or possibly two-year contract. Even though Murphy wanted to stay, the club really never considered a contract extension for Murph while he wore the blue and orange.

Having draft pick compensation attached to the postseason hero hurt Murphy in free agency, but not enough to prevent him from netting a three-year contract worth a reported $37.5M with the Nats.

While Walker is a very solid player, it is easy to see Murphy returning to Citi Field next season and hurting the Mets in an important divisional matchup.

In a league where offense is down throughout the sport, Murphy’s strengths make him a good fit on most teams but he is a perfect fit for the Washington Nationals. The Nats are extremely right-handed as Bryce Harper and the switch-hitting Danny Espinosa are the only lefty bats in the Nats everyday lineup. (Espinosa is a career .217 hitter left-handed)

Murphy will likely play second base for Washington which will allow Anthony Rendon to continue to play at third base. If Rendon or Ryan Zimmerman (two players who missed a combined 149 games last season) go down Murphy could move all around the infield.

Murphy, 30, is a .294 hitter in 56 career games at Nationals Park. No everyday player struck out less than Murphy in 2015. He is a consistent hitter that will bring some stability to a Nationals lineup that was extremely streaky a season ago. Perhaps most importantly the Nationals are taking away that consistent bat from their biggest threat to take back the NL East.

Will the Mets regret letting Murphy walk?

By Steven Inman

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Courtesy Post-Gazette

As you may have heard, the Mets front office came home from Nashville with a brand new middle infield with the additions of Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera. While the trade for Walker and signing of Cabrera came together rather quickly, it doesn’t appear that bringing the pair to New York was the Mets Plan A.  For whatever reason the Mets, along with the rest of baseball seemed to covet Ben Zobrist during the Winter Meetings so much that New York offered him a 4-year deal worth a reported $60 Million. The 34-year old Zobrist may have taken that deal with the Amazins if it wasn’t for a trade that went down between the Cubs and the Yankees.

The Cubs liked Zobrist but didn’t have a spot for him to play in their infield or outfield. Theo Epstein and company at Wrigley Field were able to move Starlin Castro and the $38 Million guaranteed left on his contract to the Yankees. Without that move Zobrist likely wouldn’t have been able to find 500 at-bats with the Cubs and would have looked to his other suitors the Mets and the Nationals. The Mets rolled out the red carpet for Zobrist, even showing him places in Connecticut and Westchester where he could raise his family.

Ben Zobrist is a nice player. He is versatile and known as a good clubhouse guy. Perhaps most importantly in this area of the country Zobrist is remembered for killing the Mets in the World Series, With that said, giving Ben Zobrist a contract in the vicinity of what Zobrist got with the Cubs (4 years, $56M) would have been a disaster for the New York Mets.

For starters Ben Zobrist will be 35-years old next season and missed a chunk of last season after a serious knee injury. Defensively he’s not what he used to be so that versatility, while still valuable isn’t as important as it used to be. The Mets also have a pair of older players in David Wright and Curtis Granderson on the payroll at pretty hefty salaries for the next few seasons. Adding Zobrist to that duo would mean having half your payroll tied up in three players in their mid-30’s for the next few seasons. Lastly if the Mets signed Zobrist he likely would have played second base which would have meant possibly another season of Wilmer Flores at shortstop. The Mets must get better defensively if they want another crack at the World Series.

It didn’t make much sense that the Mets would want Ben Zobrist on a 4-year deal. He’s not the difference making bat that transformed their lineup last July. After seeing what the Mets Plan B was, it is even more of a head scratching thought how much they wanted Zobrist. The Mets have the Cubs for stealing Zobrist away and the Yankees to thank for giving the Cubs to motivation to sign the veteran. The Mets “Plan B” will have their infield much improved defensively at a decent price.

 

BrokeMets Name Change

Posted: December 8, 2015 in News
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By Steven Inmanindex

As you can see after over 3 years of being named BrokeMets.com, this site has undergone a name change. With the Mets recent resurgence this felt like as good a time as any to change the name to something a little more Met friendly. BrokeMets was never meant to disparage the Mets as there is no bigger Met fan than myself. While we are changing BrokeMets to The Mets Report, the coverage and the analysis will bring the same insight that brought nearly 100,000 viewers  to this page over the past three years. The old address brokemets.com will still work for the time being. Thank you for the continued support and Let’s Go Mets!

By Steven Inman

Daniel Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes will be cashing in this winter

Daniel Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes will be cashing in this winter

With the World Series now over, 9 Mets have become free agents. The Mets can’t rest on their NL Pennant and must get to work in bringing back or replacing the players they are losing. Sandy Alderson and company as always will be looking for more power but finding players that can play a little defense too wouldn’t hurt after seeing the infield defense struggle the way that they did in the 5 games vs the Royals.

if the goal is to improve the defense obviously fan favorite Daniel Murphy will not be re-signed. Murphy, 30, will be a free agent for the first time in his career if he declines the qualifying offer, which he is likely to do. He has played in 903 regular season games as a Met and is 2nd on the Mets all-time list in doubles. Murphy has had some incredible moments as a Met most notably 7 homers in the first two rounds of the 2015 playoffs and is the second longest tenured Met behind David Wright but it probably makes the most sense for the Mets to let Murphy sign elsewhere and get a draft pick for him. Wilmer Flores would perform better defensively at second base and it would allow the club to look for a more defensive minded starting shortstop. Murphy is likely deserving of a Chase Headley type contract (4 years, $52M) and the Mets with their limited resources are better off using that money to find shortstop/relief help. Despite his poor play in the World Series, Murphy should be remembered fondly by the Citi Field faithful for his amazing postseason.

Yoenis Cespedes is looking for a contract north of $100 million this winter. Based off his strong 2015 regular season if you compare him to similar outfielders, he certainly deserves it. Having said that it would probably be best for the Mets to spread out that money on a number of players. Cespedes was a key factor in the Mets winning their first division title in nine years as his August was one of the best in Mets history and his homer off Drew Storen really seemed to win the Mets the NL East. That being said he had a difficult postseason and is probably best in a corner outfield spot, where the Mets already have Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson. While the Mets are better off spending their money elsewhere, acquiring Yoenis from the Tigers was one of if not the best move Alderson has made as the Mets General Manager. The Mets should look for a lefty hitting centerfielder to pair with Juan Lagares. A player like Gerardo Parra or Colby Rasmus could work.

Bartolo Colon was a joy for Met fans to watch in 2015. He gave the Mets a chance to win a majority of his time on the mound and his at-bats were must watch tv. After 18 seasons in the big leagues as a starting pitcher, Colon somehow morphed himself into a solid reliever in the playoffs. A reliever that Terry Collins probably should have used more. Colon, 42, is still a serviceable back end starter and likely is looking for a contract in the $6-7M range. While Colon was worth that money for the Mets in 2015, it’s probably best to go with Jonathon Niese in the Mets 5th starter role in the upcoming season.

Tyler Clippard was the move that was supposed to fix the bridge to Jeurys Familia. While that worked at first, Clippard struggled down the stretch and was a disaster in the playoffs. Collins’ loyality to Clippard betrayed him in Game 4 of the World Series. Clippard was unable to get his great changeup down in the zone as a Met and as a result was hit very hard. It is probably best if the Mets look elsewhere for relief help.

The Mets got a lot out of these 4 players in 2015 and while they all have value, it is probably best if the Mets replace these players with cheaper options or even internally. Players like Juan Uribe, Jerry Blevins and Kelly Johnson could have value to the Mets in some type of role and their free agent status should be monitored.

Who should the Mets be looking to re-sign?

By Steven InmanCapture

The Mets roller coaster 2015 season has now come to an end. This may be the Mets most memorable year since 1986. A season that started with an early 11-game winning streak, followed with months of offensive ineptitude, a pair of sensational rookie starting pitchers finding their footing in the bigs, a trade that wasn’t, a trade that was, a strong summer overtaking the division favorite Nationals followed by a magical playoff run. The ride ended on a somber note Sunday when the Royals came back late in Game 5 to defeat the Mets and win the World Series 4 games to 1.

It was a tough ending to a great season but the Mets have plenty to be proud of. The Mets hadn’t been over .500 in 6 straight seasons and somehow found themselves in the World Series.

The weaknesses (infield defense, bullpen) we discussed last March somehow didn’t seem to impact the Mets much in the regular season or even in the first two rounds of the playoffs but New York was really exposed defensively by the Royals put the ball in play approach.

The Royals were 7 of 7 stealing bases off Travis d’Arnaud in the World Series and key errors by Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Lucas Duda really seemed to open the door in three Royals wins. The Mets were simply a bad matchup with the Royals because of the Royals strengths but the World Series would still be going on if the Mets weren’t so sloppy defensively. Looking back on it, the Mets long layoff after the NLCS obviously didn’t help the Mets sleeping offense.

Despite all that this season is a major step forward for the New York Mets. Back in July we were all on “Terry Watch”  waiting to see if Collins would be fired if the team continued to slump offensively. We wondered when Sandy Alderson would finally make a bold move to acquire a hitter. Three months later thanks to those bold moves the offense got hot and New York finally got to see what the Mets Big 4 pitchers could do on the big stage as the Mets won their 5th pennant in franchise history.

The Mets Big 4 pitchers all are under club control for the next few seasons and the Amazin’s will get a full season of Michael Conforto next year so there is no reason to think Terry Collins’ club can’t make another World Series run next season. A lot depends on what Alderson and company do this winter but the Mets should be NL East favorites next season. With the added playoff revenue perhaps the Mets will be able to acquire a bat or two to replace Yoenis Cespedes and Daniel Murphy as they hit free agency.