Posts Tagged ‘Michael Cuddyer’

By Steven Inman

Photo by the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

Photo by the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

As the entire baseball world knows by now, the Mets had a deal in place to reacquire All-Star centerfielder Carlos Gomez for rehabbing RHP Zack Wheeler and infielder Wilmer Flores. The situation was a mess as the Mets left Wilmer Flores on the field Wednesday during the entire game with rumors swirling that he had been dealt. The Mets had concerns about a hip condition that Gomez had and pulled out of the deal. Brewers GM Doug Melvin was obviously not pleased with the deal falling apart and said he wouldn’t be discussing any more deals with the Mets during the trade deadline so Gerardo Parra will not be coming to the Mets either. The Brewers swiftly moved Gomez and RHP Mike Fiers to the Astros for a hoard of prospects. The whole ordeal was very interesting as we learned a few things about the current state of the New York Mets.

1. The Mets have the payroll flexibility to add another contract.

Sandy Alderson was right last week when he said to reporters that he had the go ahead to add another contract to the Mets $100M payroll. That statement seemed highly unlikely to come to fruition even a few months ago. Gomez is making $8M this season and $9M next season in the final year of his contract. While that is reasonable for a player of his caliber it seemed highly unlikely the Mets would be able to take on that kind of money when the season started. The Mets have also discussed a trade for Jay Bruce who will earn $12.5M in 2016 and has a $13M club option for 2017 and while they may need to be creative to fit that contract on their financial books, perhaps this club isn’t as broke as they have been in previous seasons.

2. The Mets are more than willing to trade Zack Wheeler. 

Zack Wheeler’s name had surfaced in trade dialogue with clubs such as the Rockies and Cubs over the winter in the Mets never ending search to acquire a hitter. Conventional wisdom said with his value down after spring Tommy John surgery, the Mets would hold on to Wheeler at least until his value was back up. That no longer appears to be the case as the Mets have discussed moving Zack with nearly every club that has a middle of the order hitter available. At this point it would be a surprise if Wheeler made his return from Tommy John with the Mets. The Mets have been very impressed with the work of pitching prospect Michael Fulmer and believe Wheeler is now expendable.

For the moment, Zack Wheeler is still a New York Met (Photo by NY Post)

For the moment, Zack Wheeler is still a New York Met (Photo by NY Post)

3. There is a serious miscommunication problem between Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins. 

When Brewers GM Doug Melvin sensed their was a chance that the Carlos Gomez trade could get done he notified his manager Craig Counsell immediately to let Gomez know. Most organizations believe it is important to keep the manager in the loop by not Alderson. If anything it was more important for Alderson to relay that information to Collins than it was for Melvin as the Mets were in the middle of a game and Flores should have been removed from the game immediately to prevent an injury. Collins was visibly frustrated in his post game interview and really had no idea that a trade was possible until a player during the game told him Flores had been crying.

4. The Mets believe their window to win is right now.

The Mets have made more trades to add players this week than they had made in Alderson’s 5-year history as Mets General Manager. They have been in talks on seemingly every hitter and seem very determined to get one. At this point it would be a surprise if the Mets didn’t add some kind of bat by 4:00pm Friday. The Mets aren’t worried about putting players like Michael Cuddyer or Juan Lagares on the bench despite their contracts. In previous seasons the Mets may not have acquired a corner outfielder if they already had one struggling on the team with a large contract, They seem to understand that Cuddyer isn’t working out and instead of getting him healthy and then making sure he plays everyday, the club is more focused on upgrades.

Having said that what is next for the Mets?

By Steven Inman

Sandy Alderson continues to sit on his hands while his team continues to lose ground

Sandy Alderson continues to sit on his hands while his team continues to lose ground

If you haven’t noticed, the Mets are in a tailspin. The Nationals are running away with the NL East and the Mets at the halfway mark of the season are at 41-40. They are entering the toughest part of their schedule that will see them continue on the dreaded West Coast Trip against two World Series contenders, finishing the series with the Dodgers and then the Giants. Unlike Willie Randolph a few years back, you should expect Terry Collins to make it back from this difficult West Coast trip but Collins doesn’t exactly have a long leash.

If Terry goes, Sandy should follow him out the door.

Sandy Alderson was brought in here because the Wilpon’s have no interest or ability to add payroll. They felt that a baseball man like Alderson who had experience running low budget teams like the A’s and the Padres would do just fine with their situation.

Whether that was right or wrong Alderson accepted the challenge. His plan was simple, wait out some of the Mets bad contracts and develop the Mets minor league system. He has done a fine job of that as baseball considers the Mets having a top five farm system, headlined by 2014 first round pick Michael Conforto. The outfielder is blazing through the minor leagues and should be considered for Triple A, if not the big leagues pretty soon.

Having said that, Alderson hasn’t done much else besides that improved system. When you are a small payroll team (no question the Mets are now) you have to develop your minor league system and then lock up your young stars before they get expensive. Alderson hasn’t attempted to lock up any of the Mets young pitchers to date. He’s running out of time to do so as some of them begin arbitration this winter. Alderson’s lack of urgency on seemingly everything is very alarming. He called the Mets beat reporters and fans the citizens of “Panic City” when he was questioned about his lack of movement this week while the team continues to free fall.

Alderson continues to alienate the fans as if its his job. The comments joking about the franchise such as “what outfield?” and “the Mets only reimburse gas at a downhill rate” continue to make fans irate. Most of Alderson’s jokes have been about the teams finances and with a passionate fan base that is having trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, it is difficult to understand why Alderson continues to “poke the bear”.

Buster Olney of ESPN described the current state of the Mets on a recent telecast as “a burning building and nobody is doing anything about it”

The Mets currently have the 21st highest payroll in the sport so it’s not like they are completely without resources to use.  All of the big contracts Sandy Alderson has brought in as GM of the Mets have been poorly spent or worse.

The two most expensive deals Sandy Alderson has made in free agency are currently playing corner outfield for the Amazins. Curtis Granderson has batted .235/.333/.403 in 236 games as a Met. He has been incredibly streaky and his outfield defense has declined over the past few seasons. The Mets have bigger problems than Granderson but he hasn’t been worth the 4-year $60 million contract he received.

Michael Cuddyer has been a disaster for Sandy Alderson and the Mets. Cuddyer is batting .242/.296/.364 in his first season in Queens. Cuddyer, 36, is battling a knee injury that might plague him for the rest of the season. At this point in his career he really is a DH who shouldn’t be playing everyday to keep him fresh. Not only are the Mets going to be stuck with Cuddyer’s $12.5 million contract in 2016 but the Mets also gave up their 2015 first round pick for the former Rockie along with the pool money that goes with it. Cuddyer’s contract is going to be very difficult to operate around going forward. His bat has slowed to the point that he has become a guess hitter which has really hurt his plate discipline in 2015. Cuddyer used to be a guy who wouldn’t strike out much…

Michael Cuddyer has been a disaster with the Mets and his contract will tie the club up in 2016 as well

Michael Cuddyer has been a disaster with the Mets and his contract will tie the club up in 2016 as well

While Marlon Byrd was a good pickup a few years back, but he wasn’t brought back for Chris Young who was a very regrettable signing by Alderson.

Alderson has spent the rest of his small budgets on bullpens. All of the relievers brought in by Alderson on major league deals haven’t worked out. Players like Frank FranciscoJon RauchD.J. Carrasco all performed very poorly when brought in by the Mets.

Alderson and company have flat out been too patient to help this team be successful. Besides letting a potential playoff team die without any reinforcements in ’15, the team also took far too long assessing their own players. The Lucas DudaIke Davis dilemma took far too long causing the Mets to be unable to get anything of value for Davis. The same situation occurred with Dillon Gee who is being paid $5.3M to pitch in Las Vegas. His decision to keep Wilmer Flores at shortstop as long as they did remains a head scratcher.

With the Mets falling out of the race quickly, Sandy Alderson had to do something bold. He could have traded a few lesser prospects to get Ben Zobrist or even called up his own uber prospect Conforto, instead he and his staff just sat on their hands, leaving this team to figure something out themselves.

If anyone should be on the hot seat its Sandy not Terry.

By Steven InmanSpring 2013 014

The Mets continue to labor to simply score more than a run or two a night. David Wright is still out indefinitely and payroll restraints will prevent this club from adding a significant player at the MLB trade deadline next month. Their best option may actually be their only option as Michael Conforto has been raking in Binghamton (AA) and could be ready to make his MLB debut soon.

Conforto, 22, is hitting .377 with a .482 OBP in 19 games since being called up from St. Lucie (A+).  He has hit 9 homers and drove in 40 in 253 at bats across two levels of the minors this season.

It makes too much sense. The Mets can platoon Michael Cuddyer and Curtis Granderson in one corner with Cuddyer playing against lefties and Granderson against right handers. Both are older players that could probably use more days off. Conforto could infuse a power bat into a lineup that has scored just six runs in their last four games, all losses. Between Cuddyer and Granderson whoever produces more will stay in the lineup.

The former Oregon State standout has only played in 19 games in Double (AA) but he is the most advanced hitter to come through the Mets system in at least five years in terms of how fast he is approaching the big leagues. If he struggles they can simply send him back down.

The Mets are headed down a very dark path as they continue to lose very winnable games. Their defense is horrendous, they don’t hit and the bullpen has lost most of its depth. If things continue Terry Collins is going to undeservingly lose his job. The team must do something to shake things up and if they are unwilling to pay the price to get better in terms of taking on salary or trading away prospects then they should give Conforto a shot.

By Steven Inman

The 2015 season is finally here. Barring some sort of bizarre injury, here is your 2015 Mets Opening Day roster.

Starting pitchers: 

Matt Harvey will start Game 3 on the road as well as the Mets second Citi Field Game next week

Matt Harvey will start Game 3 on the road as well as the Mets second Citi Field Game next week

1. Bartolo Colon

 2. Jacob deGrom

 3. Matt Harvey

 4. Jonathon Niese 

5. Dillon Gee

This is the order the Mets will go the first couple times through the rotation. The team will start arguably their worst starter on Opening Day in Colon. There are probably many reasons for this but the most public one at the moment is that way Harvey doesn’t start the home opener and will start the second Citi Field game which the Mets believe will maximize ticket sales. This is a clueless, idiotic way to run a franchise IF true, but hey its Opening Day so we won’t harp on the negatives today.

Relievers: 

Jenrry Mejia had a rough spring but will it carry over into the season?

Jenrry Mejia had a rough spring but will it carry over into the season?

6. Jenrry Mejia

7. Jeurys Familia 

8. Carlos Torres

9. Jerry Blevins

10. Alex Torres

11. Rafael Montero

12. Sean Gilmartin

13. Buddy Carlyle

Sean Gilmartin pitched well as Spring Training came to a close and will not be offered back to the Twins just yet, If he can make it all season on the Mets roster or DL he will become Mets property. The Mets didn’t want to lose Buddy Carlyle either who had an opt-out date coming up so the club elected to keep him and go with 8 relievers, Bobby Parnell and Vic Black will start the year on the DL but both should be ready to contribute at some point in the first half with Black likely ready soon. 

Starting Position Players: 

One thing to watch early on is if the Daniel Murphy-Wilmer Flores combo are able to sucessfully turn double plays

One thing to watch early on is if the Daniel Murphy-Wilmer Flores combo are able to sucessfully turn double plays

14. Travis d’Arnaud

15. Lucas Duda

16. Daniel Murphy

17.  David Wright

18.  Wilmer Flores

19.  Michael Cuddyer

20.  Juan Lagares 

21. Curtis Granderson

After much debate Daniel Murphy will in fact be ready for Opening Day and will meet his teammates in Washington for Monday’s opener. Terry Collins is planning on moving Murphy down in the order to get him more RBI opportunities but he is probably better off in his usual #2 spot in my opinion. 

Bench: 

22. Anthony Recker

23.  Ruben Tejada

24.  John Mayberry Jr

25. Kirk Nieuwenhuis

With the Mets carrying 8 relievers, they will go with a 4-man bench to start the season. Eric Campbell would have been the 5th man on the bench but was optioned to Vegas instead. Campbell even worked on catching this spring to make himself even more versatile. A four man bench isn’t the Mets brightest idea but it likely won’t stay like this for more than a few weeks. Collins would use Jacob deGrom as a pinch hitter should he use the rest of his bench first. 

 

Should be a fun season and Lets Go Mets!

By Steven Inman ima

As the 2015 season gets closer and closer optimism continues to grow in Port St. Lucie. Last season as the Mets prepared to break camp, the two biggest weaknesses appeared to be the bullpen and too many strikeouts up and down the lineup. While the bullpen got better as the season went on, it was the main reason why the Mets fell out of the race quickly in 2014. By the time the young arms were contributing it was too late.

The strikeouts were a problem as players who normally offset their highs strikeout totals with a lot of extra base hits such as David Wright and Curtis Granderson had down years. These two factors were key in the 2014 Mets being a losing team. The players the Mets are adding to their 2015 lineup are not classsified as strikeout guys and tend to put the ball in play more often than most.  Neither the strikeout nor the bullpen issues should be much of a problem this season.

The Mets main problem in 2015 will be their horrendous defense.

The Mets defense was very poor in 2014 and would have been a whole lot worse without the amount of range that Juan Lagares covers in center. The Mets made 104 errors in 2014, which was 4th most in the National League. While errors don’t tell the full story, only one player had even an average year defensively and that was obviously, the gold glover Lagares.

Other than Wright and Lagares the Amazin’s really don’t posses an everyday player here who has the track record of an above average defender. This defense will be a problem for Terry Collins’ club.

The two new additions to the 2015 Mets lineup are OF Michael Cuddyer, (who is not very good defensively in either corner) and Wilmer Flores. (Not a SS) While the offense should improve in 2015 with these two hitters playing everyday the defense should be even weaker, especially at shortstop. Daniel Murphy has worked ultra hard on his defense and because of his bat is now one of the better second basemen in the National League but a Flores/ Murphy double play combo has to make even the most optimistic Met fan cringe.

While the Mets have fixed most of their holes from 2014 internally, one hole is still as big as ever. The question is will this issue be large enough to derail the Mets promising season?

Spring 2013 014Optimism is surrounding the New York Mets as Spring Training 2015 begins. After six straight losing seasons, the Mets are very happy with the progress being shown by a lot of their youngsters. The question is, can they actually put it all together this upcoming year? The National League East will be tough, headlined by the Washington Nationals, but the Mets will show some promise.

On paper, it has been a relatively quiet offseason for New York’s National League team. The only notable name they went out and got was Michael Cuddyer. People know he is a solid hitter, but his value in fantasy baseball 2015 will drop a little away from Coors Field. Not only should he produce on the field, but he very well could be a leader in the clubhouse along with David Wright.

Speaking of Wright, he will once again be the face of the franchise. This team will likely struggle on offense, so they need him to still be playing like he is in his prime. There are too many talented teams in the National League East to win with just pitching.

As of right now, New York might have the best young talent in the game as far as pitchers are concerned. Matt Harvey should be ready to return at some point from arm surgery, and he will instantly be their ace in fantasy baseball 2015. Rookie of the year Jake deGrom is solid, and Zack Wheeler along with Noah Syndergaard could really take off. Along with a nice rotation, they have a slew of arms in the pen that will be able to hold leads.

Washington looks like one of the best teams in baseball, but the other four teams in the division have their own specific holes. It would not be a shocker to see New York in the mix for the wild card for most of the year. They are probably still one season away from really making some playoff noise.

Big thanks to our guest blogger Mark Jenkins on how the Mets are viewed in the fantasy baseball landscape. If you’re interested in getting involved in fantasy baseball check out fanduel.com.

By Steven Inman

With Spring Training officially underway lets take a look at who is expected to make the Mets Opening Day Roster. With grapefruit league games not even starting yet, this group will change slightly. Injuries could also change who makes the cut to join the Mets against the defending N.L. East champs, the Washington Nationals on April 6th.

The Infield

The Mets infield appears set. Three of the four players have played key roles in previous seasons while Wilmer Flores looks to break out as the teams starting shortstop. This may not be the best defensive infield the Mets have ever had by any stretch of the imagination but they should be able to drive in some runs.

1. 3B David Wright

Daniel Murphy enters 2015 in a contract year and is highly unlikely to be resigned by the Mets

Daniel Murphy enters 2015 in a contract year and is highly unlikely to be resigned by the Mets

2. 2B Daniel Murphy

3. 1B Lucas Duda

4. SS Wilmer Flores

5. C Travis d’Arnaud

The Outfield

The Mets only made two major league signings this winter and they both happen to be outfielders. The Mets outfield was horrendous in 2014 and must improve, especially offensively if the club wants to be contenders.

6. LF Curtis Granderson

7. CF Juan Lagares

8. Michael Cuddyer

The Mets don't have many quality options to replace Curtis Granderson if struggles again like he did in '14

The Mets don’t have many quality options to replace Curtis Granderson if struggles again like he did in ’14

The Starting Rotation

The strength of this 2015 Mets club will be their starting staff. With a key member back from injury and plenty of starting pitching depth in the minors, expect this to be one of the better rotations in the National League.

9. RHP Matt Harvey

10. RHP Zack Wheeler

11. RHP Jacob deGrom

12. LHP Jon Niese

13. RHP Bartolo Colon

The Bullpen

This is where things get a little cloudy. The Mets bullpen is very much undecided thanks to Dillon Gee being the odd man out of the rotation. Gee is not pleased with going to the bullpen and has stated he would prefer to start somewhere. While we aren’t going to rule out a trade it is very unlikely at this point as most teams have their budgets set going into the season and don’t want to spend an additional $5 million on a back end starter like Gee in Spring Training.

While the Mets would love to see a second left-hander emerge into the bullpen out of camp, expect six right-handers to be in the Mets bullpen in Washington for Opening Day. The Mets will give Rafael Montero a shot to be a reliever in camp and that may be his only shot to pitch in the big leagues for the foreseeable future. Expect Bobby Parnell to help this group out in a couple months as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

14. RHP (CL) Jenrry Mejia

15. RHP Jeruys Familia

16. LHP Josh Edgin

17. RHP Vic Black

18.  RHP Carlos Torres

19. RHP Dillon Gee

20. RHP Rafael Montero

The Bench

After hitting well in his rookie season, Eric Campbell will likely see time in both infield and outfield corners this season

After hitting well in his rookie season, Eric Campbell will likely see time in both infield and outfield corners this season

The Mets have had very weak benches over the past few seasons and expect 2015 to be no different. The team did a nice job in bringing in Jon Mayberry Jr. and as long as Terry Collins only plays him against lefties he should perform well. Expect Kirk Nieuwenhuis to make the club over a player like Matt Den Dekker as he is out of options. If Kirk does not make the club the Mets will most likely lose him to another team.

21. OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

22. OF John Mayberry Jr.

23. SS-2B Ruben Tejada

24. IF-OF Eric Campbell

25. C Anthony Recker

Do you think we got the list right?