Archive for January, 2016

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.

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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.