This was my 11th year writing MetsBlog.com. I never imagined I’d be doing it this long. It started as a hobby, grew into a passion and now it’s a career and total obsession. The site will again do record traffic in 2014 and it would not be possible without you reading every day. I am beyond grateful for your loyalty and support, which I appreciate more than you know…
I’d also like to thank Michael Baron, Maggie Wiggin, Ben Berkon and Brian Mangan for their outstanding contributions to the site this past year, as well as thank my friends at SNY.TV, specifically Andrew Vazzano, Jeff Goldman, Jason Potere, Adam Rotter and Jaime Goldman.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and Let’s Go Mets…
The D-Backs have and free-agent Cuban OF Yasmany Tomas have reached agreement on a six-year, $68.5 million deal, which includes an opt-out after 2018 (Sanchez, Nov 26).
The Mets watched Tomas, but their scouts didn’t love him (Sherman, Nov. 10) and, like the Yankees and Red Sox, they didn’t feel he was worth his asking price (Cerrone, Sept. 30 & King, Oct. 8 & WEEI, Nov. 3).
The Giants, Mariners, Braves and Royals also showed interest in signing Tomas (Passan, Nov. 20). The Phillies were long considered the favorites, until backing off recently due to concerns about his defense and asking price (Hagen, Nov. 20).
At one time, Tomas was predicted to sign a seven-year deal worth as much as $110 million (MLBTR, Sept. 24).
Matthew Cerrone: I’m disappointed. I understand not wanting to sign a guy with zero big-league at bats to a $100 million deal. That makes total sense to me. However, $10 million a year for a guy most everyone thinks is capable of hitting like Jose Abreu should be viewed as a bargain. Again, I’ve never seen him play, so it’s difficult to get too worked up about him going to another team. Also, I’m comforted knowing the Red Sox and Yankees balked at signing him, as did the Phillies, Padres and Braves, all three of whom have a bigger need in the outfield than the Mets at this point – so, they clearly saw something they didn’t like. That said, the Mets are in a place where they need power and a little sizzle, and a gamble like this would have gone a long way in both departments, especially considering he could be a free agent again in four years.
Matthew Cerrone: In a poll earlier this week on MetsBlog, roughly 85 percent of more than 10,000 voters said Wilmer Flores is capable of hitting at least .255, with a .696 OPS, 14 HR for a 1.9 WAR, which is on par with predictions for Starlin Castro, Alexei Ramirez and Xander Bogaerts (MetsBlog, Nov. 23).
Yet, I repeatedly hear people say, ‘The Mets have to get a better shortstop, they need to trade for Ramirez or Castro,” or, “They have to trade for Bogaerts,” and so on.
Of course, 90 percent of more than 10,000 voters also said they would not give up Zack Wheeler or Jacob deGrom to get Bogaerts (MetsBlog, Nov. 24). I suspect the voting would closer be split on trading these pitchers for Castro or Ramirez.
Nevertheless, in frustration, and after acknowledging that the asking price is too high, I often hear people say, “OK, that’s fine, but they’ve got to do something.”
I agree. But, what can Alderson do? The blockbuster deal to bring in a game-changing player is not available like I expected it would be, and it’s especially not available if Wheeler, deGrom and Syndergaard are untouchable. The Cubs, Red Sox and White Sox are looking to acquire better pitching than the Mets are willing to give up in a deal. Their asking price may come down, but only after Jon Lester, Max Scherzer and Yasmany Tomas are off the open market, and after the Red Sox deal Yoenis Cespedes. So, until then, we wait…
In the end, I still believe Sandy Alderson’s ultimate goal is to trade Rafael Montero and Dillon Gee or Jon Niese for, say, Mariners’ SS Brad Miller, (or Bogaerts or Ramirez, in the event the price comes down), move Wilmer Flores to second, deal Daniel Murphy for prospects, and used the saved money (roughly $15 million) to get a reliable relief pitcher and a right-handed hitting corner outfielder, such as Jonny Gomes. I say this based on what I’ve read in other reports, what I’ve heard on radio and TV and what I heard when talking to people close to the team. It’s a hunch, but an educated hunch.
Cuddyer and, let’s say, Miller, Gomes and Craig Breslow would be an underwhelming offseason, especially since it also means saying goodbye to Gee or Niese and Murphy. However, those four guys — with a healthy David Wright and Matt Harvey, and a second go-round for deGrom and Curtis Granderson – could be good for 5-10 more wins, a fun September and a chance to play in October, which is what I expect next season.
Toby Hyde and Robert Brender look at more shortstops for the Mets, but get some perspective from the other side of potential deals. Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic joins in to talk about the D-Backs options, and MLB.com White Sox beat writer Scott Merkin chats Alexei Ramirez.
The Yankees had interest in acquiring Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins, but are moving on since the asking price is too high, according to ESPN’s Jason Stark (Twitter, Nov. 26).
The Mets also contacted the Phillies about acquiring Rollins, but he doesn’t want to be traded (Rubin, Nov. 11).
Similarly, Stark says Phillies GM Ruben Amaro recently referred to Rollins as one of the best shortstops in baseball and someone he wants on his team in 2015 (Twitter, Nov. 26).
Matthew Cerrone: That’s fine, I believe all of this. However, as a smart friend of mine pointed out the other day, how is Rollins going to feel in March when he looks around and no longer sees Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels and others, since they’ll likely get dealt sooner than later? At that point, will Rollins change his tune? He screams of the rare prominent player who could get dealt in April or May, like Mike Piazza in 1998. It’s a weird circumstance, but I can see it happening with Jimmy. If it does, it will give the Mets and Yankees a chance to see how their infield situation is shaking out, after which they can re-engage with Amaro. I think Rollins is worth keeping an eye on, because I’ve heard Alderson has had interest in him since last summer.
Rollins has “10-5 rights,” meaning, because he’s been in the league for 10 years and on the same team the last five seasons, he has a full no-trade clause.
He is due $11 million this year, with an $11 million vesting option for 2016.
In a poll on MetsBlog in early November, 70 percent of more than 7,000 voters said they would have no problem rooting for Rollins if he ended up on the Mets (MetsBlog, Nov. 11).
The Rockies will not be trading Troy Tulowitzki this offseason, according to rival officials who have spoken with the team in the past two weeks (Martino, Nov. 26).
The Rockies had been listening to offers for him, they saw the Mets as a potential fit, but a deal was never going to happen this winter (MetsBlog, Nov. 11). Colorado representatives talked with a Mets executive early in the offseason, but they did not discuss specific players, Rockies GM Jeff Bridich told reporters during the GM Meetings.
Matthew Cerrone: The Rockies would certainly deal him if the Mets took on all of Tulowitzki’s $114 million, plus give up at least Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard. However, no team (including the Mets) is interested in doing this — Yankees, too — given the mystery surrounding Tulowitzki’s return from hip surgery and the amount of risk associated with his contract. Instead, as I said a few weeks ago, unless the Rockies are willing to lower their asking price, which they’re not, they are far more likely to keep him this winter, let Tulowitzki show he’s healthy and then revisit his trade market next summer and fall.