Archive for January, 2013

By Steven Inmanimages

Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com does a terrific job every year with his top 100 prospect list. This year the Mets had three prospects all within the top 30. Travis d’Arnaud was ranked 6th, Zack Wheeler was ranked 8th and Noah Syndergaard was ranked 29th. Shortstop Jurickson Profar of the Texas Rangers topped the list .

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Noah Syndergaard

At this time last year the Mets also had three prospects make the list. In 2012 Wheeler was ranked 28th, Matt Harvey 38th and Jeurys Familia 90th. Matt Harvey no longer qualifies because he has surpassed his rookie status. Once a pitcher passes 50 innings in a season he is no longer considered a rookie.

I think this list shows how much the Mets farm system from the top has grown as the Mets were the only team to have two prospects in the top ten. Not only that but the two of them are expecimagesCAU5LIB3ted to be up and contributing in the big leagues sometime in the first half next year. Syndergaard’s timetable is more late 2014 early 2015. It is very encouraging to see Noah Syndergaard jump as high as he did. He was ranked in the mid 80’s last year and really made improvements with his off speed pitches especially his breaking ball over the summer.

The Mets have a nice group of young players who could develop into a dynamic core over the next two or three years. The Mets are certainly headed in the right direction with their farm system due to two huge trades. Now they just need to draft better and spend a little money in free agency.

By Steven Inmanimages

The Mets announced today that they have signed reliever LaTroy Hawkins to a minor league deal. Hawkins, 40, pitched solid in 42 innings for the Angels last season however he is 40 and you don’t know how he will hold up just like Scott Atchison who the Mets signed yesterday. Hawkins was good for the Angels and has a solid chance to make the bullpen.

Hawkins will make about one million with some incentives if he makes the Mets roster.

The only guys who are really set in the bullpen as locks are Frank Francisco, Bobby Parnell and Josh Edgin. The second lefty job will be a competition between Pedro Feliciano, Robert Carson and Scott Rice. Jeremy Hefner and Aaron Laffey are competing to be the long man in the bullpen. Lastly Scott Atchison, LaTroy Hawkins Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia are competing for the last two spots in the bullpen. This could all change however if the Mets bring in another reliever on a major league deal, which they are trying to do.

By Steven InmanimagesCADQ3WP8

In an insider piece for ESPN Paul Swydan speculates on five players who have been overlooked by their current teams and could get moved during spring training. In the article which again is insider only, Swydan speculates that the Mets could make a play in the spring for Seattle outfielder Casper Wells. Wells, 28, has some power but has struggled to find consistent playing time in Seattle after being traded from Detroit in a package for Doug Fister.

Casper Wells' problems in the major leagues have never been about his defense

Casper Wells’ problems in the major leagues have never been about his defense

It is an idea to think about as Wells has 25 homeruns in 656 plate appearances in the major leagues. Wells hit .267 with a .364 on base percentage vs. lefties last season. Plus at this point the Mets must consider anyone who plays the outfield and hits right-handed. Wells has always been solid defensively but like most Met outfielders these days, he leaves a lot to be desired with his bat. Wells isn’t arbitration eligible until after the 2014 season and won’t be a free agent until after the 2017 season so he will make close to the league minimum next season. If Wells was on the Mets 40-man roster right now he would definitely make the team and probably have a significant role in their outfield.

Wells hit .228 in 285 at-bats last year for the Mariners in 2012 and seems to no longer be in their long-term plans as an everyday player. This is something the Mets may want to consider in the spring if no in-house candidate shows that they deserve an everyday outfield job.

By Steven InmanimagesCAU5LIB3

The Mets and Daniel Murphy have avoided salary arbitration and agreed to a one-year deal, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. Murphy was the Mets last arbitration eligible player without a contract.

Rubin says the two sides agreed to slightly below the midpoint between what Murph was looking for and what the Mets countered with. Murphy was seeking $3.4 million, and the Mets countered with a $2.55 million offer. Murphy is set to earn $2.925 million in 2013. Murphy is still scheduled to be a free agent after the 2015 season.

By Steven Inmanimages

The Mets are ramping up their pursuit of a reliever according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman says the Mets may even be looking for a closer. There are some interesting options available but all of which have questions marks attached to them still. Brian Wilson is a reliever the Mets have looked at and Sandy Alderson has said the team will watch him throw again.

Other than Wilson here are three names to watch for

Matt Capps: Capps, 29, would be a nice addition to the backend of the Mets bullpen. The Twins declined their club option on Capps for $6 million making him a free agent. He just wasn’t healthy last season and has gathered very little interest in free agency.

Francisco Rodriguez: The Mets have seen what K-Rod can do on and off the field before.  He was a reliable guy for the Mets from 2009-2011 and he will be significantly cheaper this time around. That being said there are only a select group of baseball players that come with more baggage than K-Rod does.imagesCAU5LIB3

Jose Valverde: Valverde will be 35 this spring and some have wondered how much he has left in the tank. He had a solid regular season after having a stellar 2011. However he was dreadful in the postseason forcing manager Jim Leyland to pull him from the closer role in the World Series. Valverde has been a workhorse in the past and is also an intriguing option for the Mets. The Tigers announced a few months ago that they wouldn’t be bringing Valverde back.

By Steven Inmanimages

Sandy Alderson and assistant General manager John Ricco had dinner with free agent centerfielder Michael Bourn and agent Scott Boras in Houston last week. According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post “It was more a getting-to-know-you session than a dollars-and-cents negotiation, at a time when the dollars and cents remain among the most significant hurdles in doing a deal.”

The Mets like Bourn and Bourn likes the Mets. Bourn’s camp spent most of the dinner talking about how if they signed Bourn it could bring some credibility back to the Mets that could be used in future off seasons. Bourn is still looking for five years and $75 million. He won’t get that in this market less than two weeks away from spring training especially with a draft pick tied to him. images2

The Mets are skeptical that Bourn could even get three years in this market and Bourn is running out of time to find a team.

The Mets may be willing to offer three years with an opt out earlier in the contract but not the five years that Bourn is looking for. This may all be redundant anyway as the Mets won’t sign him unless they get approval that they won’t lose their first round pick #11 overall. MLB won’t decide on that until they feel the Mets are close to signing Bourn. The Mets seem to be the only team that’s been linked to the outfielder over the last week or so but I still put a signing at unlikely.

By Steven InmanimagesCADQ3WP8

Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine has received overtures from SNY to become part of its studio telecasts for a few Mets games, the Daily News reported. If SNY is already talking to Bobby V about returning to do pre and or post game coverage, then that means the Mets must have already approved it. SNY is changing their Mets pre-game coverage from 30 minutes to a full hour for the 2013 season. They plan on making timageshe coverage start at 6 pm and discontinuing the “Wheelhouse”. Bobby V has experience as the Mets manager last time they went to a World Series and also has experience working as an analyst on ESPN.

Valentine will likely only do 20-25 games a year such as Subway series games. Valentine would likely come in as a fill in for when Bobby Ojeda gets a day off. Valentine also is a candidate to become the new athletic director at Sacred Heart University, according to Bill Paxton of the CT Post so this is no sure thing to happen. If Bobby V did come back to Queens it certainly would be entertaining.