The SS market, and what can the Mets do to upgrade?

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

In his final talk with reporters from the Winter Meetings, Sandy Alderson said if he ends up acquiring a high-end shortstop, it’ll likely come by trade and not from the open market.

Texas Rangers v Oakland AthleticsIt still seems like the D-Backs are Alderson’s best option to fill at short — while separately hoping James Loney signs with Astros, which might create a bidding war between the Rays and Brewers for Ike Davis.

The D-Backs have shortstops Didi GregoriusChris Owings and Nick Ahmed, all of whom are top infield prospects, as well as Cliff Pennington, who is under contract through 2014. Arizona has said that they’re fine platooning these guys. However, I heard last summer that they were open to shopping Gregorius and OF A.J. Pollock to get pitching, so it would stand to reason that sort of move is still in their playbook. The Mets and D-Backs talked earlier this week, but they did not find any common ground (Rubin, Dec. 12). Of course, Arizona seems busy these days, reportedly trying to acquire Rays LHP David Price, who might require them to build a three-way trade to get the deal done…

Similarly, the Rangers are willing to move SS Elvis Andrus, but only for a big return (Rosenthal, Dec. 11). The way I understand from people who know the Rangers, because Andrus has such a huge contract, and because he has an opt out, teams are unwilling to meet his asking price in trade. However, the buzz from the Winter Meetings was that the Rangers are not sold on Jurickson Profar being a second baseman, so there is no telling what that means for his or Andrus’ future. There is also the potential for Texas to get in on Price, and it’s likely Andrus or Profar would be used in that deal. The Rays already have SS Yunel Escobar, so Texas is probably worth keeping an eye on…

Jean-Segura-at-the-All-Star-Futures-Game-US-PresswireOtherwise, according to people very aware of the market, the Mets were among several teams to ask about Escobar, Angels SS Erick Aybar and A’s SS Jed Lowrie, but were repeatedly told these guys are not being traded this winter. The Angels are done, Joe Maddon reportedly loves Escobar and Billy Beane is clearly looking to take over the AL West…

The White Sox talked to teams about Alexi Ramirez last summer, according to reports in July. The Mets had interest, from what I was told, and I have to think it still exists. But, the only thing I’ve heard about Ramirez this winter, from people who know the Whits Sox, is that he is impossible to value. The Sox will listen to offers, but they have been unable to see eye-to-eye with anyone about him over the last year, and it doesn’t sound like that’s about to change…

The Indians are reportedly listening to offers for SS Asdrubal Cabrera (Rosenthal, Dec. 10), but the Mets are not interested (Sherman, Dec. 10). They like Cabrera, but — thankfully — Alderson appears unwilling to give up the elite pitching prospect that Cleveland is rumored to be seeking.

So, again, the way I see it, it comes down to the D-Backs, while keeping tabs on the Rangers, and hoping the Brewers get desperate and finally offer SS prospect Jean Segura. Ideally, Loney signs with the Astros, so Alderson can try to pry away Escobar or Segura. Otherwise, unless he has a rabbit up his sleeve, or things break very, very right in Tampa’s deal with Price, I think Alderson has to either overpay the D-Backs or he has to sign a few scrap-heap guys and begin praying Ruben Tejada is in the best shape of his life.




284 comments
metfan8669
metfan8669

Trade for Aybay.  Cheap, according to the reports I have read, and serviceable.  He isn't the youngest SS out there but hits for average.

gothamsane
gothamsane

If Loney signs with the Mets for $7M per, $3M more than if IKE plays for us in 2013.

Then TB is a position to trade Escobar for Ike and a prospect.

We upgrade both positions and part with no picks.

If Lonely signs with TB, we are not getting Escobar, doubtful Brewers give us a Fifth starter for Ike.

We then give up a third pick for Drew also at $7M and have less value for Ike.

Sign Money for $21-23N for three.

Before you like this or reply, look at Loney's numbers: Hitting, Fielding, WAR and postseason on bbref please.

Mets6986
Mets6986

Or they can wait until the Blue Jays stink again (which, they WILL) and get Reyes back once they start their inevitable fire sale.

crash
crash

Can Roy McMillan still swing a bat?

davespain
davespain

So, the Rays don´t have Hak Ju Lee or Tim Beckham anymore, wasting away in AAA? Or aren´t they worth mentioning? No problem mentioning Owings and Gregorius. And the absolutely ridiculous idea that Segura would be traded…

I think that someone like Beckham or Lee is about all you could expect to get back for Davis.

Edmahn
Edmahn

"a bidding war between the Rays and Brewers for Ike Davis"

For Ike Davis? A bidding war?

maxster
maxster

Tajeda has no power , no speed, no range, average arm and got very satisfied with his 2011 performance. He is not willing to work at his average at best skills,to be the best he can be. that is his problem.

seldomused
seldomused

With Adam Eaton traded, there is no way that the Dbacks trade Pollock.

orangeblue
orangeblue

so are we getting garza too or not.. 4 or 5 years of garza isnt a bad deal at all, and if the mets want to spend and keep their "depth" of young guns in the minors, why not do it!!


also tejada will in fact be on the 2014 mets active 25 man roster BUT in a reserve role.  sandy wants a SS, he will get his SS.  Duda and Ike will likely be gone, and Morales will come in and be the first baseman.

Tyler Della Badia
Tyler Della Badia

I feel like Tejada is getting a bad rap here...The guy hit very well (better than we expected) in 2011 and his fielding was terrific.  Though he wasn't Reyes, a lot of people were saying that Tejada WAS a worthy replacement for Reyes.  Going into last season, there was no change in that thinking. 

But then the guy has a few bad months, gets injured and now everyone hates him?  I think he deserves at least another shot to prove it here but everyone goes haywire Tejada.

dooley
dooley

It would also be nice to see Tejada make some adjustments at the plate. It seemed like every time he hit the ball the defense played him perfectly.

E2 Productions
E2 Productions

Why isn't Jose Reyes being discussed at all? We need a SS and a leadoff hitter and he is both of that. Idiot Alderson wants Stephen "I hit 250" Drew

Peter Buell
Peter Buell

I'm happy that the Mets made the move they did, but in my opinion, the difference between winning this offseason andexpecting the same results as last year is upgrading shortstop. That along with the moves made the growth of the youngsters will make for at least an interesting season. If no upgrade at shortstop, to me its just the same old stuff with a wind up one player short.

chasesimms
chasesimms

I'm gotta say, I'm not that excited about the changes.  Colon is likely to get hurt.  At the very least, he's not going repeat last seasons numbers.  This is his final contract.   He's all set.  No more playing for contract to motivate him.  


Granderson will replace Byrd's numbers.  And you'll forgive me if I'm not excited about the addition of Young. 


Another 74 win season appears to be around the corner. 


The good news?!  Its Friday!  See, I can be optimistic too!

Jeff Tinsman
Jeff Tinsman

Just get something done, please...preferably with Arizona, if you have to give something up to acquire a SS, might as well might it a young talented prospect like Gregorious or Owings.

Gland1
Gland1

What I don't understand is in this "analysis" how Segura is being mentioned with Escobar in terms of return for Ike. Segura is a 23 year old All Star SS making league minimum right now and under team control through 2019. Escobar is a 31 veteran under team control through 2015 making 5million. Escobar I believe would be a nice reasonably priced upgrade and I can see how the Mets could match up with Tampa. But to throw Segura in there as if he and Escobar are interchangable and to imply that Ike could bring back either pretty much borders on ignorance.

dexx
dexx

Stephen Drew -  .253/.333/.443  13  HRs  142 Ks  442  ABs


Ike Davis - .205/.326/.334   9  HRs  101 Ks  317 ABs


We would literally be better off releasing Ike, if his salary is hindering us from signing Drew.  Drew also plays + D at SS, while Ike plays below average D at 1B

helloboy
helloboy

Yawn.  Same crap.  Good news, is some of the scrap heap guys have value and some are still better than Tejada.  As I have repeatedly said, Munemori Kawakasi is set up for a breakout with quickly increasing line.  He is historically an on base machine and will end up with an OBP of over .330.  He can also play 2nd and 3rd in a pinch.  He is an awesome character and would be beloved by the fans.  Just google his antics to see.

If he has not signed yet, i would also take a look at Alexi Casilla.  He is still youngish and has been getting at least regular playing time.  He is a faster, switch hitting version of Tejada.  While he was mainly a 2nd baseman, his d stats for SS are not bad at all.

Both guys will be significantly under $3M. Kawasaki has upside and may not even cost more than $800K.  Not sure why the Mets get interested in Izturis instead. 

Agee's Catch
Agee's Catch

@Tyler Della BadiaHe deserved the bad rap.  He came into camp unprepared and unready to compete.  That's lazy.  I would look to replace him.  He'll need to learn to fight for a job.  It just may not be here.

fourwedges
fourwedges

@Tyler Della Badia  I agree.  Its not a stretch for Tejada to hit .260 and play sound defense this season.  hes done it before. 

Perhaps even keep Davis as well.  Players bounce back, its not crazy to believe that.

Gland1
Gland1

Great point! Since both players are free agents and he could sign either one why would he want to focus on Drew?

Poop-a-doodle-doo!
Poop-a-doodle-doo!

@chasesimms God forbid you are not 100% onboard with these moves; look at our history, Colon going down for the season is not unthinkable, Chris Young may very well hit .200 again, and let's hope Grandy stays healthy.


It's times like these I am sooooo glad they got rid of the "unlike" button as so many minions in here would undoubtedly unlike my response here!!!

airfeet
airfeet

@chasesimms I don't understand everybody's assessment that Granderson will replace Byrd's numbers like its a bad thing.  That's exactly what we want.  The offseason isn't over yet

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

@Matthew Orchant Maybe.  He's not as nearly as good as you're making him out, though.  His offensive production is going to be much closer to the second half of the season rather then the first.

Erin II
Erin II

@Gland1 You would think that Cerrone would throw up a few posts first thing this morning just to conceal his stupidity on this one.

airfeet
airfeet

@Gland1  Brings 0 credibility to the blog...absolutely none

chasesimms
chasesimms

@dexx"Check me if I'm wrong Sandy", but if they release Ike, they still have to pay him, no?

Alban Yee
Alban Yee

@dexx Even if you release him, you still need to pay him. Releasing is not the answer, unfortunately.

GeorgeStorkTheodore
GeorgeStorkTheodore

@helloboy

Kawasaki is not the answer.  He is 32 and barely hits above the Mendoza line.  We already have Tejada a younger better version of that!

dolemite
dolemite

I think that Kawasaki said he is going back to Japan though?

dexx
dexx

@fourwedges@Tyler Della Badia Yes it is crazy to believe that.  If we go into the season with either player as a starter, we deserve the .150 avg, poor defense & no power that we will get from both of them.

Mets6986
Mets6986

@Gland1 The Blue Jays' fire sale will commence in July. They have no hope in the AL East and a top-to-bottom rebuilding process is staring them right in the face. Anthopoulus knows it, he's just hoping these players light up the sky during the first half so he can get a better return at the trading deadline.

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@Ben BongadowskiIt's fine to be slightly negative as both of you are. The concerns are there. But the Concerns backed by no facts are a problem. Like Colon will stink because he got his last contract he will give up. Man made 100 million before signing for 2 years with oakland for nothing. He is competitive and wants to pitch.


Grandy Will indeed "Only" replace Byrd at best. Byrd put up a bWAR of 4.0 for the mets and 1.0 for Pitt. Grandy has had a 5.4 bWAR in 2011 and a 3.0 in 2012. So expecting him to be better then the miraculous season put up by Byrd is hard to believe. The difference is you will get a Full season of Grandy so potentially the team win total might look different.


Colon is basically going to have to be as good as Wheeler & Marcum were for mets. That would equal 1.3 WHIP 190 innings and put up an ERA+ around 105-110, which he's bested for 3 straight years. You need Gee and Neise to repeat, and Wheeler to improve, with a huge question about MEJIA who can't be worse than Marcum. Right now no way the SP is better, because no way anyone is as good as harvey was. 


Young will be better offensively than any OF the mets had last year not named Marlon Byrd. 

 

If i had to pick a number right now... Mets are tops 80-82 wins... Respectable not there yet.

helloboy
helloboy

Granderson will surpass Byrd's numbers.  He is a better player than Byrd.  He will also help Wright's numbers in a big way and that is not mentioned.  People are not afraid of Marlon Byrd, they will be concerned about Granderson.

Compring the two is idiotic.  Granderson's ceiling is much higher.  Plus he steals bases and can score from first on extra base hits. not to mention from second with more regularity. He will also ground into less double plays and give more people chances.  The horizontal numbers review will not tell the story.  Grandy will add much more than just replacing Byrd's numbers

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@BringBackDaveTelghe@Matthew Orchant Still was one of the top offensive SS in baseball. With solid to plus defense they can ask for Thor and should ask for thor. 

Mets for Thor and D'Arnaud and another interesting prospect for a 38 year old pitcher... Mets got Wheeler for 40 games of Beltran. 

Gland1
Gland1

We all make fun of his typos and spelling mistakes but the real problem is his lack of knowledge.

scottwall
scottwall

@chasesimms @dexx Not the entire contract. I don't know the exact numbers but they would still save a few million.

helloboy
helloboy

I think with normal time and given his uptick last year he would hit closer to .245.   Of course, this is nothing compared to the OBP of 330 plus he would have.  The great thing about him is he does not need a high average to make impact. 

With that said, I would still like to see Tovar over Tejada.  My big issue with Tejada is not even his bat.  I saw people beat out infield hits on routine plays.  I question his arm and release.  I would rather see Tovar since his defense would be much better, even if he only hits 220.  His Dwar will make up for it and be far better than what Q had done also.

dexx
dexx

@Mark Kelly@Ben Bongadowski I thought Byrd put up 3.0 WAR for the Mets and 4.0 for the season.  Either way, he will be tough to replace, but I think people forget that we will be improving LF, as Duda played LF until EY arrived, and we basically got 1.0-1.5 from LF for the season.  Granderson will certainly surpass that with the potential to double it.


If Lagares takes a small step forward he could be a 4.0-5.0 CF.  He wasn't on the team the 1st month of the season, and really didn't start producing anything offensively until July, and still ended up at 3.5 WAR.  He could easily improve on that just by being on the team for the whole season.


C. Young could bounce back.  I'm not saying I expect him to, but he will provide really good D in RF and I could easily see him being a 2.0-2.5 WAR without hitting that much.  If he gets close to where he was in 2011 with Arz. he could feasibly replace Byrd's production.


Wright needs to stay healthy for the whole season.  He is one of the best players in the game, and even if his defense regresses some, you have to think his offense will slightly improve with Granderson hitting behind him.


Murphy had a 3.0 fWAR, and is now 2 years removed from his 2nd season ending knee surgery.  I think Murphy improves lightly on defense this season as he hasn't had a ton of reps there when you look at the big picture.  Its not like he came up through the system playing 2B.  I bet Murphy gets a few more strikes to hit this season too, if Wright could stay healthy for the whole year.  It wouldn't hurt to give him a day off here and there against a tough LHP either.  He played 161 games last season.


Duda & Satin will produce something close to a 3.0 WAR if used properly in a platoon.  Duda's #'s are impressive vs RHP, same for Satin vs RHP, and will be a huge improvement over what we got from Ike at 1B last season.


TDA has to replace Bucks value, which I believe he will, and I think Buck is extremely overrated defensively, and besides a few April HRs, was terrible for the rest of the season.


Any SS we put out there will be a huge improvement over what we got last season.  We got -2.0 WAR from Q & Tejada last year, so if we play any replacement player we should be better.


As good as Harvey was last season remember that he really only pitched about 2/3 of the season.  He got a week off before the All-Star break, and we had a 6 man rotation for a month before his season ended I believe in August, so it is feasible that Colon replaces Harvey's production.  It's hard to believe, but I think we were 1 game over .500 in Harvey's starts last season.



Mets6986
Mets6986

@helloboy Disagree. Granderson hasn't put up 2013 Byrd-like numbers sinice 2010. 

xgamblorx
xgamblorx

@helloboy Kawasaki or Tovar would certainly be an upgrade over Q as backups but I don't think either ought to be full-time starters in MLB. Tovar could use everyday reps in AAA to see if there's any development left in his bat too.