Posts Tagged ‘Wilpon’s’

By Steven Inman

Photo by NBC Sports

Photo by NBC Sports

With the upcoming switch from Bud Selig to his hand-picked successor, Rob Manfred, as MLB’s commissioner, Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon has not lost his standing within baseball.

The elder Wilpon will be the new chairman of the MLB’s Finance Committee, according to the Daily News. This is not a joke.
Selig, the biggest supporter of Wilpon, is retiring at the end of this week. It seemed like conventional wisdom to Met fans that once Selig left the new commissioner would put some pressure on the Wilpon’s to spend money on the Mets payroll. That no longer seems to be the case and the chances of the Mets payroll going up in upcoming seasons looks unlikely.

The Mets 2014 payroll was around $92 million which was the lowest for the franchise since the 2000 season. The 2014 payroll also ranked 21st in baseball and won’t be more than a few million dollars more in 2015.

Should baseball step in and force the Mets to spend money?

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.

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 Inman

Photo by Fox Sports

Photo by Fox Sports

The Mets have reportedly offered free agent OF Curtis Granderson a three-year deal and the two sides could wrap up a deal before the Winter Meetings on Monday. Over the past three or four years the Mets have lacked credibility from agents and players from other teams. Worst off, they have lost credibility from their fans. Curtis Granderson could change all that IF he isn’t the only major move the Mets make this winter.

For the past few months fans have been as down as ever on this franchise. The comments I have gotten from fans were extremely pessimistic that things will turn around anytime soon. People doubt the Wilpon’s ability to spend money. They doubt Sandy’s plan and all of that is perfectly reasonable at this point. If the Mets sign Granderson without completely overpaying him it can be a great start to what could be the offseason that turns the Mets around.

Granderson, 32, would likely make the Mets outfield complete but they still need to bring in a shortstop, likely in trade as well as signing at least one starting pitcher. A pitcher who could give them more length than what they have gotten from the back end of their rotation the past few years.

Granderson gives the Mets some left-handed power. Something the team desperately needs right now and he is probably the best fit left on the free agent market. He also would be a very good fit for this young Met clubhouse. The only other team that I have heard interested in Granderson are the Red Sox.

Granderson is still looking for a fourth year but if he can’t find it he will likely take the Mets deal because from what I am hearing Granderson’s camp wants to remain in New York. If he does get a fourth year elsewhere the Mets may match it. They really like him and have prioritized him over other outfielders like Nelson Cruz.

By Steven InmanimagesCADQ3WP8

In an absolute must read for any baseball fan, let alone Met fan, Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal, details how bad the situation is for the Mets Triple A affiliate in Las Vegas.

Costa talks first about what we already knew, due to the Mets poor job in developing a farm system no minor league team wants to be associated with them. “They’re undesirable,” said Dave Rosenfield, a longtime Norfolk (Va.) Tides executive. “Nobody wants them.”Norfolk was the Mets Triple A affiliate up until 2006.

There are 30 major leagues teams but just 30 Triple A minor league teams so it’s kind of like musical chairs.imagesCAU5LIB3

Due to the Mets inability to develop a farm system along with the meddling nature of the Wilpons, Norfolk and eventually the Buffalo Bisons, dumped the Mets, forcing them to Las Vegas. “When he (Wilpon) became involved in everything was when things changed,” Rosenfield said. “I dealt with him on some things and somebody always had to go to him if you wanted to do anything. He had his nose and hands in everything.” Rosenfield said.

The Mets did their best in 2010 of keeping Buffalo happy by bringing in veteran minor league talent like Mike Hessman and R.A. Dickey, (yes the 2012 Cy Young award winner was brought in to appease a minor league team) Both players along with others however were called up early that season to Queens and the Bisons were a losing team once again.imagesCAU5LIB3

Last offseason Buffalo signed a player development contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, leaving the Mets with Las Vegas in a game of undesirable musical chairs.

The Mets will be in Vegas for at least this year and next year. We have already heard complaints from prospects like Zack Wheeler.

In the article even executives in the Las Vegas organization know the stadium is far from pro ball standards. The field is dry, making it difficult to grip a baseball. The ball flies when it’s put in play. The organization only has two groundskeepers so they don’t have time to water the field before games somehow.

“You get in situations where you’re like, ‘I’m not looking for a double play here. I need to strike this guy out because I’m afraid of him putting it in play.'” Greg Burke said.

Sandy Alderson has acknowledged that putting the Mets Triple A team in Vegas, makes it significantly more difficult to evaluate players.

The only bright side to the Mets situation is they are only signed up to be in Vegas through 2014. If the Mets can develop their young players especially on the offensive side of ball they can turn the 51’s into a winning club. If they can do that they can probably leave Vegas after next year for a club closer to New York. That’s what the Blue Jays did and they are very happy in Buffalo.

By Steven Inmanimages2

This title says it all. The Mets are the only team in the major leagues to not sign a free agent to a major league contract this winter. All 29 other teams have signed at least one. Going into the offseason we knew the Mets were strapped for cash but still expected them to sign a few guys to this point. It’s still probable that the Mets sign a free agent or two but it’s no question that the Mets are more strapped for cash than Sandy Alderson let on a few months ago.

Going into the offseason I thought the Mets had around $5-10 million to spend on new players. Alderson made it sound like the payroll could be slightly more if the Mets needed it. Since then the Mets cut Jason Bay to defer his payments and signed David Wright to a new deal. Wright’s new deal is also deferred. Wright’s contract goes from $16 million to $11 million plus $3 million more in deferred money. That means the Mets are saving about $8 million more on Wright in 2013 than previously expected.

Between Wright and Bay, the Mets have saved some serious coin that few were expecting, yet they haven’t signed anyone to a major league contract yet. The team looks worse than they did at the end of last year on paper. Again there is still two months left in the offseason before Spring Training starts so there is still plenty of time for Sandy Alderson and the Mets to improve their team.

However with all the money the Mets saved plus promises from the front office of an improved outfield, something is up that makes the Mets look more cash strapped than we thought. It is concerning that the Mets are going out of their way to save money in deferrals without spending it so far.

By Steven Inman

The Mets this morning had a press conference for David Wright to announce his eight year $138 million extension that will keep him a Met until at least 2020. David Wright came up in his brand new Mets alternate blue jerseys and talked about how the Wilpon’s convinced him that the franchise was stable going forward and that he was in position to win multiple championships and be a perennial playoff contender. They even talked about potential future free agents they could sign in upcoming off seasons.

Two details of the contract I found very interesting that we didn’t know before today. As part of Wright’s extension, his 2013 salary will be reduced to $8MM, and he’ll defer $15MM until after 2020. Wright also has a full no trade clause. The Mets would have had to get approval of a trade after 2014 with Wright anyway because he would have 10-5 rights anyway so the Mets are only adding no trade to Wright for the next two years. 10-5 rights mean a player gets a full no trade clause after being in the league for 10 years and five years with his current team. Don’t worry David Wright will be a Met for life.

The Mets reduced Wright’s contract this season from $16 million to $8 million so the Mets gain an enormous amount of salary relief in this deal and it could change the type of outfielder they can sign as a free agent.