Archive for December, 2013

By Steven InmanSpring 2013 014

With less than 24 hours left of 2013, lets go back and look over the most important moments of the 2013 Mets year, on and off the field. We did this last year too which you can check out here. In case you were living in a cave over the last year here is everything you need to know about the Mets in 2013. There were a lot of positives for the Mets but the team also had a lot of negatives. Here’s the list.

6. The Mets name David Wright Captain

“This is one of the proudest days of my career so far.” David Wright said during Spring Training when he got the news. Wright became the fourth team captain in the clubs 51-year history. Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez were co-captains while Wright’s former teammate John Franco was the last captain before Wright. The Mets handled the situation well and Wright’s teammates all felt that being named captain was well deserved for the Mets all-time hits leader.

5. The Demise of Ike Davis

The biggest surprise of 2013 was the unraveling of the Mets first basemen

The biggest surprise of 2013 was the unraveling of the Mets first basemen

A majority of New York baseball writers, executives, coaches, including myself all felt as if Ike Davis was ready to take off and have a monster year. That obviously didn’t happen as Davis badly struggled in 2013 including a trip to the minors. His future in New York is cloudy at best. 57% of BrokeMets viewers felt that Ike Davis should be moved. You can vote on that poll here.

The Mets are actively shopping Davis and he may not make it to Spring Training in New York. Once a first round pick and top prospect, most feel as if Davis will never live up to his potential in New York.

4. Mets start spending money again

Although the Mets 2014 payroll will likely finish below where the 2013 payroll was, it is encouraging to see the Mets signing free agents again. Curtis Granderson, Bartolo Colon and Chris Young all should contribute to the Mets next season. They are all guys who are “Sandy Alderson type” players which means they all come with a ton of upside but also with considerable risk.

Granderson is 33 and coming off a lost year. Colon is the oldest pitcher in baseball and has a steroid suspension on his resume and Chris Young hit .200 last year in Oakland but the three also have a ton of upside and could revert to All-Star form. They must perform next year or the Mets will be staring at a third consecutive 74 win finish.

3. Super Tuesday

This was perhaps the best day of the Mets season.  A June double header in Atlanta vs. the first place Braves. The first game was Matt Harvey who had a no hitter going late into the game. He didn’t get his no no but he got the win. It looked like he was trying to remind New Yorkers that this was still his team despite the Mets top prospect making his debut later that day.

The night cap was the MLB debut of Zack Wheeler. Wheeler was a little wild but was very impressive getting the win as well. The day was significant because it showed that the future is now. The Mets no longer had to wait until the top pitching prospects came, they were here and looked as good as advertised.

2. All-Star Festivities at Citi-Field

Both Harvey and Wright gave Mets fans a lot of smiles in another tough season

Both Harvey and Wright gave Mets fans a lot of smiles in another tough season

When the All-Star game came around in mid-July the Mets were already falling out of the race so it was nice to have the spotlight back on the Mets when the game came to Queens for the first time since 1964.

Matt Harvey started the game and got out of a jam in the first and David Wright had a hit late in the game off Royals closer Greg Holland. Harvey and Wright represented the Mets well. The two were the Mets lone all-star representatives. Wright also performed well in the home run derby as we finally learned it is possible to hit home runs out of spacious Citi-Field.

1.  Matt Harvey undergoes Tommy John Surgery. To miss all of 2014

It’s unfortunate that the list has to end with the most depressing thing to happen to the Mets in some time, but yes the Mets will be without their new ace for the entire 2014 season. 95% of the time pitchers come back the next year even better than they were the year before but it’s sad that the Mets lose their best pitcher right when they thought they were ready to start competing.

Mets owner Jeff Wilpon even admitted that the Harvey injury changed their plans this winter. Ideally Zack Wheeler can step up in Harvey’s absence. The rotation is still above average but it could have been elite with a healthy Harvey.

Well that’s our list, if you think of a moment that deserved to be on here for the 2013 season post it in the comments section. Hopefully 2014 will be a breakout season for many Mets.

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By Steven Inman

Photo by NY Daily News

Photo by NY Daily News

After months of speculation it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Mets 1B Ike Davis would be a goner. As we approach the new year, Ike is still a New Yorker and could be here for the foreseeable future. The Mets asking price in a trade continues to be high as the Mets were recently rejected by the Orioles in a trade for LHP prospect Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez probably projects as a mid-rotation arm but could make an appearance for the Orioles in 2014.

The pitching starved Orioles can”t afford to give away talented arms like Rodriguez for “flier” guys like Davis. The three teams the Mets are talking to about Davis are the Orioles, Pirates and Brewers. The question here is, if we get to early February and Ike is still on the roster, do the Mets lower their asking price or do they bring him to Spring Training?

At this point I would bring him to Spring Training. He still has the most upside of all the first base candidates the Mets have. They clearly aren’t getting anything of value for him and they really can’t use his $3 million salary to upgrade a different position. So if it is just a salary dump, should the Mets actually deal Davis?

Another question here is how motivated will Ike be playing for the Mets after a second straight off season of trade rumors swirling around him. Obviously his baseball career is on the line here but it looks pretty clear that he would prefer a change of scenery.

Why are the Mets so desperate to move Ike Davis. Is the front offices’ relationship with the slugger so strained that they must move him for 30 cents on the dollar?

Ike isn’t a perfect player. He changes his swing at the plate far too much and doesn’t hit lefties but his power potential along with his ability to get on base when he is going well is very appealing for a team like the Mets, who will likely be lacking offense next year.

Should the Mets trade Ike Davis?

By Steven Inman

Reid has a legit chance to pitch for the Mets in 2014

Reid has a legit chance to pitch for the Mets in 2014

The Mets have claimed RHP Ryan Reid off of waivers from the Pirates. Reid, 28, a relief pitcher, appeared in seven games for the Pirates last season, making his big league debut. The 28-year-old posted a 1.64 ERA and 1.091 WHIP in 11 innings, including one save. In Triple-A Indy, Reid posted a 2.73 ERA and 1.197 WHIP over 59 1/3 innings last year.

Reid is a typical fastball-slider reliever. He tops out at 94mph but he typically is around 91-92 with his fastball. He also occasionally throws a changeup. He was drafted by the Rays in 2006 but still regains his rookie status next year.

Reid will go to Spring Training trying to earn a spot in the Mets bullpen. He has very strong minor league numbers so he can earn a job on the Mets roster with a strong spring.

By Steven Inman

Photo by Boston.com

Photo by Boston.com

Shortstop Stephen Drew looks to have run out of suitors to compete with the Boston Red Sox for his services. As a result his agent Scott Boras has been trying to engage the Mets in discussing his client Drew, as well as 1B/DH Kendrys Morales. Morales won’t appeal much to the Mets as they believe their in house first base options are better at their current prices. Plus Morales will cost the Mets a draft pick.

The Mets are willing to give up a draft pick for Drew but after the Bartolo Colon signing, the Mets are close to their payroll limit. Before the Mets were unwilling to guarantee Drew a third year but now according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, both the Mets and Red Sox are only offering Drew one-year deals now.

Boras has also talked to the Yankees but they have a very prominent shortstop coming back from injury….

Drew has never played a game at a position other than shortstop in his 8-year big league career.

The Mets could get involved here if the price for Drew continues to drop but Scott Boras has been in this situation before and almost every time, Boras finds some mystery suitor to overpay his client late in the offseason.

If Drew is on the market a month from now, then we can discuss him coming to Queens but for now Ruben Tejada is most likely the Mets shortstop.

Wherever Drew ends up, you can check out all of his games by heading on over to http://www.bestsatellite.tv/ and get MLB Extra Innings to make sure that you don’t miss an inning of the action this season.

By Steven Inman

Photo by NY Post

Photo by NY Post

Former Met Carlos Beltran had his introductory press conference with the New York Yankees on Friday. Beltran talked about how he had unfinished business in New York and always dreamed of putting on Yankee pinstripes.

The surprising part of the conference was the way Beltran talked about his Met days. Beltran was very critical of Mets ownership with the way they talked about him to the media. “The organization was trying to put me as a player that was a bad apple,” Beltran said. “I was this, I was that.’ I can deal with 0-for-4 and three strikeouts and talk to you guys. But when someone is trying to hurt you in a very personal way, trying to put things out there … then we got trouble. Now, it’s personal.”

Mets ownership did a very poor job in the way they treated Beltran. Although fans still remember him for not swinging the bat in 06’, the Wilpon’s have treated him worse.  “When they (Ownership) say all that about myself, I was hurt. You cannot believe the organization that signed you for seven years is trying to put you down. In that aspect, I felt hurt.” Beltran said.

Beltran was not without fault for his relationship with the Mets however. He underwent microscopic knee surgery one January without telling the Mets. He went on to miss most of that season and the relationship between the two sides never recovered.

Beltran has kept these thoughts to himself for years, so him telling the media how he felt must mean how strongly he felt about this. Hearing these comments from Beltran, it seems silly to think that there was ever a chance that Beltran would return to the Mets. Now Beltran will be coming back to Queens in pinstripes…

By Steven InmanimagesCAU5LIB3

With the Mets inability to acquire a shortstop this winter, it makes the Mets decision not to give former Met Jose Reyes even a contract offer, more questionable.

In his last season with the Mets, Reyes was coming off a strong season in New York that ended with a batting title. The Mets elected not to trade Reyes at the trade deadline, thinking they could resign him. It just doesn’t make sense why they didn’t make him an offer then but they still felt that Ruben Tejada could be a cost effective replacement. That wasn’t the case in 2013 and the Mets are scrambling for a new shortstop.

The Mets are unlikely to find that new shortstop based on Sandy Alderson’s recent comments. “We’ve improved the team at other positions. And so giving Ruben a chance to reestablish himself as an everyday player isn’t such a bad thing. But we’ll continue to monitor what’s there from the trade market and conceivably free agency, although there really isn’t much left there.” Alderson told ESPN’s Adam Rubin.

Jose Reyes would solve a lot of the Mets problems right now. The team is actively looking for a leadoff man as well as a shortstop and Reyes is one of the best in the game at filling both of those positions.

Reyes signed a six-year deal worth $106 million two years ago but based on the numbers that other shortstops have signed since, that contract doesn’t look so bad.

Jhonny Peralta got $52 million from the Cardinals last month coming off a PED suspension and is older than the 30-year old Reyes.

Elvis Andrus got $120 million over eight years and he isn’t half the shortstop Reyes is offensively.

The Mets offense despite some additions in the outfield is still a below average lineup. Reyes would have changed that as when healthy is a dynamic top of the order hitter that simply hasn’t been replaced since he left Queens.

Reyes, now in Toronto won’t be traded by the Blue Jays so don’t get your hopes up Met fans. This is simply the one that got away.

By Steven Inman

Both Didi Gregorius (left) and Chris Owings would be good gets but would likely cost Sandy Alderson a lot Photo By Fox Sports Arizona

Both Didi Gregorius (left) and Chris Owings would be good gets but would likely cost Sandy Alderson a lot
Photo By Fox Sports Arizona

The Mets have now diverted their attention to finding a shortstop on the trade market now that they are close to their payroll limit. The team with the most shortstop depth right now is the Arizona Diamondbacks. Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers has Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings on his roster. Both play a quality shortstop but it doesn’t seem like they’re are enough at bats for the both of them especially with Aaron Hill at second base. Towers plans on having the two shortstops compete for the job in Spring Training but they are both available. Gregorius was the Diamondbacks everyday shortstop last year and while he is solid defensively he is very limited offensively. Gregorius, 23, hit .252 with a .332 OBP and seven homeruns in his rookie year for the Diamondbacks in 2013. Owings would be the guy to target if I were the Mets. While he doesn’t have as much big league experience as Gregorius he certainly brings much more upside.

Owings,22, had a monster year in Triple A although in the Pacific Coast league, a big time hitters league. Owings hit .330 with 12 homers and 20 steals in 125 Triple A games. He hit .291 in a brief 20 game stint in the big leagues. The issue with Owings is he doesn’t really walk at all so if he doesn’t hit for a high average he could get exposed against big league pitching. The Mets don’t seem to have a ton of options outside the organization right now so Owings would probably be close to the top of their list anyway. Owings walked just %3.8 of his Triple A plate appearances in 2013. That isn’t an anomaly either as he walked just %3.5 of the time the year before in Double AA.

Owings probably isn’t as good defensively as Gregorius but he still profiles as above average.

Owings would likely cost the Mets a fortune as he is the D-backs’ top hitting prospect and they could always just stash him or Gregorius away in Triple A. He would likely cost one of the Mets top pitching prospects. Obviously Syndergaard is untouchable at this point but the other guys could be moved in the right deal.

There just doesn’t seem to be a perfect fit anymore for the Mets shortstop position but Owings certainty has the most upside.