Daisuke Matsuzaka warms up

Mets will keep Dice-K, paying him $100k to stay in camp

Daisuke Matsuzaka will remain with the Mets after the team agreed to pay him $100,000 to not opt out of his current minor-league deal, the team announced on Twitter.


May 25, 2:10 p.m.: Sandy Alderson said that this weekend’s starts in Montreal won’t determine who will make the Opening Day roster (Vokrunov, March 25).

“We either had to put him on the team today and essentially make him a fifth starter, or pay him $100,000, so we went with cash,” Alderson said.


May 25, 12:32 p.m.: The news is leading to speculation among fans and reporters as to whether Matsuzaka will be sent to Triple-A Las Vegas, while giving Jenrry Mejia the fifth spot in the big-league rotation, since it would have been less expensive to simply cut Matsuzaka and attempt to re-sign him.

The other theory being that – even if the rotation spot eventually goes to Mejia, by paying to keep Matsuzaka – it guarantees double protection against a possible setback by Jon Niese, who is slated to make his first regular season start on April 6.




73 comments
Vic Scarpelli
Vic Scarpelli

Buys time. Mejia for Franklin or another young ss before the season starts

Peter Ramirez
Peter Ramirez

No issues with this move. Let Mejia continue to start down in AAA and refine his craft. Mejia is likely the superior pitcher at this point, but that's hardly relevant. Injuries will strike before you know it, and we'll need all the pitching depth we can get. Plus, a little more seasoning for Mejia couldn't hurt. Let's see what Dice-K has left; if there's nothing, we simply move on.

cetonis
cetonis

The fact that this doesn't come with a straight up announcement of Mejia as the fifth starter is odd though, particularly given the claim that the last pair of starts won't influence the decision.


- If Daisuke is the chosen fifth starter, he wouldn't need to be paid the 100k.
- If Mejia is the chosen fifth starter, and they're just keeping Daisuke for depth/Niese, they could easily just say so.


It would seem that they don't know who the fifth starter is yet, but it's also not a matter of comparing Mejia versus Daisuke's performance... What else could they be waiting on?


A guess: Sandy is trying to see if Arizona will take a Mejia-based package for Gregorius? Mejia + Plawecki (or some other A-AA guy) for Didi has always felt like a good trade to me though, so I might just be looking for any sign it might happen. I suppose it's also possible they plain haven't decided yet, disagreement in the ranks or the like.

TheTrueStork
TheTrueStork

Nothing wrong with this move.  Given the injuries last year, you can't have too much depth in the starting rotation, and Matsuzaka has earned it.  After a more than shaky start last year, he wound up very strong.  He's also pitched well this spring, so why not go north with him?

Doubleday
Doubleday

TRANSLATION:  "We're giving Matsuzaka $100,000 so he doesn't end up on the Braves, beating us all summer."

John Schod
John Schod

All I could think of was the movie "Trading Places" with Mortimer Duke paying off the $1 bet!


Hey, let's spend some more......

1harris1
1harris1

LOL. Where's my man Evander Smart (a/k/a "BD") with this news? He was crowing last night about making the right call on his boy, Dice K. Looks like he might want to reconsider .

Mejia =young talented starter with upside.

Dice K= mediocre retread with no future.

Let Dice K enjoy his $100,000 in the Vegas casinos, and give the 5th starter spot to somebody worthwhile.

1h1

Starz31
Starz31

I can't see many negatives to this decision. In fact, this should be a good sign that the organization is going to make the best baseball decision and not strictly based on saving money. 

Mejia should be the fifth starter but you don't want to just lose Dice-K for nothing while he has pitched well this Spring when anything could happen in the next 2 months where the team might need a starting pitcher before Thor is ready. This provides solid insurance to an injury to the rotation or a setback by Niese while also ensuring Mejia gets a fair shot at the fifth spot. 

If Dice-K does get the fifth spot, then you ride him for a month and re-evalaute things then with the same injury insurance applying to Mejia at AAA. 

Nick Antinarella
Nick Antinarella

Holy cow we're in May already?! What the heck place are we in? What have I been doing for the past two months? Anyone have any plans for Memorial Day weekend? BBQ?

Mr. SERCH
Mr. SERCH

ok i just got out of a 3.5 hour meeting, so maybe my head is still somewhere else...but what the hell am i reading? Is Dice-k our 5th starter or is it Mejia?


OR, instead of having a deadline, we just paid him to NOT have a deadline, and we'll figure out the 5th starter soon enough?

upstater
upstater

If they don't pay this, he'll be a free agent and based on his spring performance, he would surely find a better team to play for than NYM.

Michael Fichera
Michael Fichera

This doesn't make any sense. Unless, the Mets some how tricked Matsuzaka into beleiving he will have an opportunity to start a significant number of games this season. 


He certainly could find a job starting if he opts out. Maybe he is a big Warthan fan.

Lets Go Mets!
Lets Go Mets!

Looking forward to opening day and a great season as the Mets field an amazing team this year!  Who is with me?!

rico
rico

I'm cool with this , first of all it's better to let the young guys keep their mojo going in the warm weather out in Vegas

The first month of the season is always plagued by horrid weather, rain-outs, snow-outs, brutal cold.  Best to let Dice and the other tomato-cans get us through the ruff beginning and bring up the youth in June.  


Also most of these guys are on innings-limits. None pitch 200 innings in the minors so most or none can be expected stay strong or healthy for a whole season. I'd rather they come up fresh and finish strong come June.  


They are our future not necessarily our April / May.



grillruben
grillruben

Honestly I don't even think he should be on the roster. We already have Torres and Lannon for long relief and spot starts. Dice K is not a good pitcher anymore. He is a scrub. He is old. He has no need to be on the roster. I just don't get this club's infatuation with this guy. His starts are unwatchable.

drmetfan
drmetfan

As expected. I'm OK with this move. Dice K has pitched really well. I think he found his groove when he joined the Mets last year thanks to Dan Warthen. 

nagel100
nagel100

no-brainer with niese's problems.  who knows what the issues really are.


meanwhile Montero and Noah should be working on their game and be ready soon.

Son of Harley
Son of Harley

@Peter Ramirez This move actually makes it more likely that Mejia will begin the season as the 5th starter. The Mets just paid $100K for the right to send Dice-K to AAA. They would be silly not to take advantage of that. Mejia starts the season in the #5 slot. Dice-K joins the ML roster only if Niese can't pitch on 4/6. This move provides the kind of flexibility they would not have if they named Dice-K the fifth starter right away.

dabo
dabo

 is didi a good player?  Is he an upgrade?  i don't think he is playing much for Arizona so why trade Mejia and Plawecki for him.

Son of Harley
Son of Harley

The problem with naming Mejia as the 5th starter right now is that he might have to be demoted after his first start. It all depends on Niese's health. If Niese can go on 4/6 as scheduled, then Mejia is the 5th starter and Dice-K goes to Vegas. If Niese has a setback, then they will have to bring up both Mejia and Dice-K. Once that happens, the Mets are essentially forced to demote Mejia to AAA once Niese returns in order to preserve depth. They won't be able to option Dice-K once he's on the ML roster.

Doubleday
Doubleday

 It is just as likely that the Mets have Matsuzaka as part of a deal, and they needed to alleviate the "out clause" in his contract so they could trade him.

turbo907
turbo907

@Mr. SERCH  We want Mejia….Dice-k isn't so cheap, Mets are paying for Dice-k's interpreter's

salary, too, you know.

mi
mi

@Mr. SERCH mejia will be the 5th...keeping dicek around in case neise is hurt

Starz31
Starz31

@Michael Fichera  I'd say it makes a lot of sense. The team likes what Dice-K has provided and he has had a good spring. The 5th spot is up for grabs because Mejia has pitched so well, so by ensuring they keep both pitchers available they have protection in case Niese has a setback or they can simply send Dice-K to the minors where he'd still be a valuable spot-starter in case of injury before June when Thor will be called up. 

You can't have enough arms and if they cut Dice-K he probably would find a spot somewhere else since he's had a good Spring. 

rico
rico

@Michael Fichera  Mets gave him a chance last year where others didn't.  From descriptions of him, he's an amazingly hard worker and dedicated to self improvement.


I'm not saying it's going to work out for him in NY in the long run but he's got something to prove and a stage to prove it on, and the Mets have a place-holder for a month or two.  


Good luck Dice-K,   I hope one day Dan Warthen realizes that you are from Japan not China.

nym68
nym68

@rico  the weather in Arizona and Anaheim is atrocious in April

turbo907
turbo907

@grillruben  ditto.  apparently after 7 long years, that's what Tito & the whole Red Sox nation thought about him….He doesn't seem to like it here, he loves the attention in Japan, he can still be a star & do better if he plays in Japan.

rico
rico

@grillruben  It's not an infatuation it's a place holder. Did you watch his last 4 starts last year? Those were works of art, 

but maybe you don't like art?

stemog
stemog

@grillruben Not sure what you're looking at, but he hasn't been bad for them since the first three starts last year when they got him. I don't think you're grasping the whole innings limit on those young guys you mentioned. They aren't coming up until June or July for more reasons than the Super 2 status. They're going to throw 5-inning starts in Vegas. We can't afford that in New York or the bullpen will be dead by June.

Mike
Mike

@grillruben  at the very least it is called Depth. Most teams like having it in case someone gets hurt.  Even as a fifth starter it is an ok guy because it leaves some of the kids in the farm to continue to grow. 

dabo
dabo

@Son of Harley  very interesting point, that does give them security and a good pitcher in the minors.


Michael Fichera
Michael Fichera

@Starz31 @Michael Fichera  From the Mets perspective of course it makes sense. What behooves me is what they could've told Matsuzaka to make him believe he couldn't get a better opportunity/money if he opted out. Especially with so many early injurys to pitchers.


Matsuzaka's agent chose to put the player opt out in. Why choose to put it in if you aren't going to use it? 100k? If another team signs you you are eligible for the major league minimum. So if you sign with another team do well or suck you get paid assuming he gets released. 

rico
rico

@nym68 @rico oh c'mon, not comparable to most of the country. you've got to be kidding?


Do you remember last years' snow-outs in Denver?  


Even if you don't agree with the weather part of my posting (which would be folly) the fact that most of these young guys don't throw 100 innings in the minors, and won't be throwing 200 innings their freshman years in the majors is reason enough to hold em till June, not to mention the financials, and not to mention Dice K is Ok for now. 



grillruben
grillruben

@rico

6 innings against Philly 4 runs, 2 earned, 3 walks, 4 hits is a work of art? Dude, he tiptoes out of jams every inning. There's a reason he was still available. If his starts were art why did he wait so long to get the offer the Mets gave him?

 

grillruben
grillruben

@stemog @grillruben 

He's had one season in his entire career where he's had an era under 4.4.  He has two good starts, one against the Marlins when teams were playing with expanded rosters. His pace is miserable. Not just for viewers, but as a player you don't want you pitcher taking that long. 

Even if he was good enough to earn a roster spot, he has no future with this team and there are more talented guys in the organization that should be pitching over him. 

Can you honestly tell me you expect him to pitch well against a good team? You would trust him in an important game?

grillruben
grillruben

@Mike @grillruben 

We have plenty of depth. Lannon, Torres, Montero, Degrom, Synderrgaurd, Also I'm sure nobody will pick Dice up if we released him. I have no problem with keepinghim in the Minors, but he shouldn't be wasting a roster spot. 


I swear you guys are so used to losing you have adopted a loser mindset. What does Montero still need to prove? He dominated AA and adjusted to our terrible AAA stadium. He throws strikes with tons of movement and has very simple mechanics. 


At some point you need to field your most talented team if you want to win anything. Like what's your plan? Just throw them in the fire next year and expect them to pitch through the playoffs? 


The fact that this team has as much as considered sending Mejia down shows how much of a loser mentality this organization has. Don't give me this one extra year of team control bs. It's not your money. We play in a brand new stadium in the largest market. If there's talent we can and should pay for it. 


It's like having ripe plants ready to be picked from the ground, but you just leave them in the ground because you want to "continue to see them develop". Going forward, 2015 and beyond we have very little rotation room with Gee, and the big three amongst others. Why don't people conceptualize that?

stemog
stemog

@grillruben @nagel100He's the closest to being ready. He threw 140 innings last year, so with the 30-inning boost, he'd be capped at about 170. For a fifth starter, that's pretty good.

Son of Harley
Son of Harley

@Michael Fichera This was not a player opt-out situation. The $100k bonus is mandated by the Collective Bargaining Agreement for players with 6+ years of mlb service time who are signed to minor league contracts.

Olerud42
Olerud42

@grillruben @stemog  "Can you honestly tell me you expect him to pitch well against a good team? You would trust him in an important game? "


lol there will be no important games this year. 

Starz31
Starz31

@grillruben @stemog  Those are very different assumptions. He isn't being kept to be a Game 1 starter in the playoffs. He's being kept as a solid veteran replacement option during the first couple of months of the season when the team wants to do everything they can to not have to call up Thor or Montero until June. You're expecting too much out of him. 

And besides, Mejia should be the fifth starter which means Dice then gets cut before May 1 or stays in AAA as an insurance policy.

Starz31
Starz31

@Greg Baker @grillruben  Dice has pitched well this Spring so I wouldn't say it's a guarantee he doesn't get picked up by anyteam needing pitching help early on.

The team would rather have Dice-K be a April/May insurance call up over the other young guys due to their contract situations. I don't see Montero or Thor being called up until June; at the least the team doesn't want to have to do that in case of an injury to the big league rotation. 

It's a smart depth move and at the least just delays the decision which protects you in case Niese has a setback or anything else drastic occurs. 

Greg Baker
Greg Baker

@grillruben Lannon was part of the 5th starter race as well, but fell out because he was not that great. 

Montero and Thor are already in the minors.


Dice K has easily outpitched Torres and DeGrom and offers at least the same potential (if not more) then they do. 


why do you hate Dice K so much? He is a Met, this is a good problem, and the decision is not that huge a deal.

Olerud42
Olerud42

 @grillruben @stemog @nagel100  "Obviously Montero is ready, for that matter so is Thor, but its all about the money, every time"


Nothing wrong with being financial prudent. 

@grillruben @stemog @nagel100  Obviously Montero is ready, for that matter so is Thor, but its all about the money, every time

grillruben
grillruben

@stemog @grillruben@nagel100 

Montero doesn't have a wide array of pitches he needs to master. He is a fastball/change-up guy who has demonstrated pinpoint control.  He's a strike thrower with tons of movement that pitches to contact. I think he's proven he has mastered his control. 


At some point you need to see if these guys can get it done at the big league level. If their plan was to trade him they should have done so in the off-season.