Thoughts about the shortstop situation at Tradition Field

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

In the last few days, three stories have emerged: 1) The Mets are underwhelmed with SS Ruben Tejada, 2) the Mets and Mariners will soon talk about SS Nick Franklin, and 3) the Mets still have interest in SS Stephen Drew, who may wait until June to sign a new contract.

This is 100 percent speculation, but to me, this reads like a team trying to smoke Drew out of his hole, essentially saying, “Hey, we still have an opening at shortstop, but, who knows? Maybe we trade for someone first!”

I’d rather Drew for two years and $20 million than give up any sort of pitching prospect for Franklin, especially if we’re talking Jake deGrom, Rafael Montero or Vic Black.

Franklin hit just .225 in 96 games last year. Sure, he had 12 home runs and 45 RBI, but I’d be willing to bet Wilmer Flores could come close to that level production, assuming he doesn’t trip over himself in the field…


Screen shot 2014-02-25 at 9.35.24 AM


The team is saying Flores looks slimmer and quicker, and I agree. I have no idea if he’s capable of playing shortstop in the big leagues, but he certainly seems more in shape and mentally prepared for it today than a year ago. Also, for what it’s worth, I’ve overheard coaches comparing him and Tejada more this winter than last, which would suggest he’s being considered more than management is saying in public.

My hunch is that no trade will be made, Drew will sign somewhere else and Tejada will start the year at shortstop. However, if Flores does well with Triple-A Las Vegas, he may find himself promoted early in the year.

149 comments
A Pocono View_
A Pocono View_

And both john Harper , and yahoo sports said Ruben was in fine shape..and no observations had been made..

hashburry
hashburry

How about Sandy does something clever like sign Drew and get Franklin for the future?

hashburry
hashburry

Could that be any worse a read of the situation by Matt?  In actuality, Tejada looking no better than last year puts the Mets in terrible shape to negotiate with Drew and Borras.  Why would anyone in the Met organization say bad things about Tejada?  Boras isn't scouting him, so it would be much better for negotiations to keep up the company line that he looks great and is a legit option.  And does anyone really think Boras will be spoked by the chance the mets trade for a .225 hitter?

ifti99
ifti99

I honestly don't believe the Mets are going to increase their payroll right now. If they really have made an offer Drew (and who knows what's really true?), I say they will trade Ike for a prospect immediately. The one thing you can count on from the Mets is the total lack of payroll flexibility.


So freaking frustrating!

Brent Moody
Brent Moody

Everyone seems to be so in love with Drew.. he had good numbers last year in a hitters park with a stacked line-up around him.. neither of these things apply to our beloved Mets. If we can swing a trade for franklin who is a good fielder and a decent stick at 22 years old under control for a few more years.. its a no brainer.. at least in my opinion.. but hey what do I know.. but what we do know is that they are not happy with the way Tajeda showed up at camp out of shape again..

Jimmy
Jimmy

It sounds like Sandy is not going to make any trade. This is all posturing for Drew, who I am so sick of hearing about at this point.

I'm just hoping Flores can rob a base-hit up the middle in his first Spring Training game, and put all this "range" stupidity to rest. He is not a Leadoff Hitter, but his bat in the lineup makes up for a lot of the 100 K guys we have now. Bat him 5th, and you improve the lineup immensely.

I would've loved for the Mets to trade for Miller, Franklin, or even Owings. I don't want to hear Drew's name all season (after hearing it all offseason). I have come to the realization the FO wants to spend no money, and make no daring trades. Our only hope is Wilmer Flores right now. Ugh, being a Met fan is exhausting.

Adam Stein
Adam Stein

Why would you rather pay 20 million in 2 years for a guy who is an average at best SS rather than trade Degrom and someone else for Franklin who has been a top prospect consistently, with plenty of potential, who is under team control for what…. another 6 years or so without getting paid? We have tons of pitching its time to use some of the depth to get something we don't have.  Come on Cerrone. 

Colon
Colon

Franklin is young and in control for many seasons. Better to trade a prospect who profiles as a mid rotation guy for a young prospect shortstop as opposed to paying Drew. Would have been great to sign Cruz and then trade for Franklin.

dooley
dooley

Jon Heyman reported on the MLB network that the Mariners want a #3 type pitching prospect for Franklin. He also stated that many scouts think he can stick at SS, although many others think that he is better suited for 2B. Nothing really new, but it does provide a tiny bit of clarification on the M's asking price.

CocoaBeachnut
CocoaBeachnut

Why trade valuable young pitching talent for an unproven SS that is not good enough to stick with his current team and batted .225 last year? Why not approach a third party (Pirates for example) and entertain a 3 way trade in which we offload either Duda or Ike, we get Franklin and Seattle gets something it wants from Pittsburgh?

Ron Davis
Ron Davis

this is a joke how they say he was in fat camp and we see and hear he is in much better shape. where is the trainer where is Sandy. This is wrong. they want to make up crap. this is one thing i really do not trust or like Sandy about.  He is a fine Gm but not as good as i expected.  People would not be surprised if this action was from Omar but Sandy is no different. like when we had the issue with the Catcher Torriaba we signed then tore up the contract.  well Sandy braging about Reuben and Duda.  now Rueben is still not i do not see where he is any different then when he got hurt last year and far from fat.

Andrew LaForge
Andrew LaForge

I want an upgrade at short. If it is Drew, okay. Franklin fine. If I had to choose between the two, it would be trading for Franklin. For one he is about to be 23. He has hit well in the minors and has some decent pop. Something that Tejada is missing. If Franklin develops into a solid SS then we can be set for the future at short. We would have control of him for a few years even before he hits Arb. Hence the high asking price. I cannot look to much into his rookie season.

Bob Burket
Bob Burket

My thoughts. No trade of a pitching prospect should be made to get Franklin. Drew/Boras can go scratch. Flores will and should get a look see at SS in ST games since they don't count. Tejada will begin the season as the Mets SS and shouldn't.  So nothing good will get done and SS for the Mets lineup will mean daily  oh for  4s.  Sound about right?

mets1962
mets1962

Flores didn't look that bad at 3B. He came up as a shortstop. Let him try it. He is better than Tejada or Franklin. Mets aren't going anywhere this year. Let's see what the young guys can do. More serious issue is Collins floating the idea of Eric Young in OF over Larges. that .316 OBS is great for lead off man. Put Chris Young as lead off and play left field. He did it for years in Ariz. Eric Young is a bench layer at best.

mike23
mike23

This is why mets fans are frustrated with this organization. They have a glaring whole at SS, reports say they are underwhelmed with Tejada already and yet your last sentence says you think they will do nothing and have Tejada starting opening day. I mean what team does this, how about going out and fixing the issue and stop playing games with mediocre talent. I'm not sure what the deal is with drew and boras, do they want to even play for the mets or not, if so the mets should offer the 2 years 20 million or so and get that done. Franklin would be decent but would cost something via trade so that shouldn't be option 1 and to think after reading this you still believe Tejada will be given the starting SS position over even trying Flores there is why this organization is filled with more questions than answers every year. Get something done for once mets and up the expectations of both your players and for winning. 

Starz31
Starz31

That's about right, Matt.

It's all part of negotiating with Drew.  Boras saying they would hold out until July was a bluff and the Mets saying they'll just trade for someone is a bluff too. Calling out Tejada still puzzles me tho. They didn't even say he was out of shape, just that he was out of shape last spring training and he "looks similar' this ST, yet he still looks "slimmer." I'm not sure what the team is trying to gain by publicly leaking that. 

As for Drew. 1 year at $9.5 million or $10 million. If he doesn't want it, then too bad. There's no other offers out there and the Sox aren't going to have him as their starting SS so is best bet is to take the 1 year deal, start all year, and hope to get a better deal next year. 

(Edit) And they if they don't sign or trade for a SS, having to keep Tejada as their starting SS doesn't look positive now that they're publicly criticizing him, again. It's bizarre. 

sylow59
sylow59

If all it took was deGrom then Franklin would have been on the Cards a long time ago.

hankypanky
hankypanky

To continue a thread from late last night into the wee hours, how about Niese for Miller? Anyone?

Victor Triguero
Victor Triguero

Here are my thoughts...(since this blog won't point out the fact that the Mets should not be in this position in the first place)


When Jose Reyes was in his final year, he absolutely should of received a contract extension. With the exception of a fluke injury last season, he has been healthy since he left the Mets. The decision not to re-sign him was strictly money. Wright and Reyes should of been on this team for there careers. Instead, they do not re-sign him and try to convince us that Ruben Tejada is a suitable replacement. Tejadais such a drop off from Reyes it is not even funny. It is like you broke up with Salma Hayek and decided to get with Paula Poundstone....I mean seriously...who bought that Tejada would be a suitable replacement to Reyes?


Now....Tejada had ok at best season or 2 before this past season. Let's not compare him to a top flight or above average SS. He is not even better than Drew nor is he close. Sandy threw this guy under the bus and basically stated we needed a new SS without saying it. If you listen to Sandy Alderson radio spots at the end of last season on WFAN, you know what I am referring to.


Now as far as this season goes? Tejada cannot nor should not be the SS....the only way I will understand it is if they are keeping the spot warm for Hanley Ramirez (and we all know the Mets are not signing him)


Trade for Franklin or sign Drew to a respectable deal...call his agent and work on something respectable


Both of these guys are not top flight either but are better options than Tejada who seems to be a lazy, malcontent whose skills are highly overrated...

zoddie
zoddie

I think that's overkill. We don't need three shortstops on the roster. I also think you can platoon Franklin (or Drew) with Tejada a bit. Depending on the price (deGrom, yes. Montero, probably not) I probably prefer Franklin.

paqza
paqza

@Adam Stein  For one, Drew is a shortstop and Franklin is a 2B at the Major League level. That's the main reason. I wouldn't mind acquiring both, though. Tejada/Drew platoon at SS (Drew can't hit lefties, Tejada hits them well) and Franklin as the 2B of the Future™, replacing Murphy, who we'd trade for prospects.

hashburry
hashburry

@CocoaBeachnut  Because if Duda or Ike could get a good enough prospect to get Franklin, the Mets would have already made that deal.

crafalko17
crafalko17

@CocoaBeachnut You are trading unproven pitching talent for an unproven SS talent who has been on the top 100 prospect list multiple times. Counting heavily on Franklin's rookie year at age 22 as what he is going to be is silly given his minor league statistics. Or are we going to place high value on d'Arnaud's and Flores' rookie stats too and say they all aren't going to be good? You trade away talent to get talent. I'd rather trade Mejia than Montero at this point, but I'd expect them wanting Montero. It's a tough call.


If the kid is available, we should be first in line with a legit offer.

John Ford
John Ford

@Andrew LaForge I agree . But to me Drew makes no sense . if we were a player or two away then ok but Drew for $20 mil. why spend that money on a developing team 

Ed Yano
Ed Yano

What exactly are you basing your opinion that Flores is better than Franklin?Franklin has been a top 25 prospect Flores has never been close to that.Both guys had big AAA numbers but Franklins might have been better since he didn't play his home games in Vegas.I'm anxious to here your thinking on this.

Ed Yano
Ed Yano

How does 2 years 20 million get it done when Drew wants 3years 42 million. Could you explain that?

dooley
dooley

He wasn't on the trading block until Cano signed

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@hankypanky  No way Sea does that. Miller is a stud. Besides the fact that they want him at SS not Franklin

Starz31
Starz31

@Victor Triguero  Why is the blog not writing about a player who hasn't been on the team for 2 years? Because it was 2 years ago. 

paqza
paqza

@zoddie  Opens up room for moving Murphy. Franklin's got the same floor and a much higher ceiling. If you could turn Murphy into a switch-hitter making the league minimum with 20/20 upside + prospects + $$, why not?

Starz31
Starz31

@hashburry @Brent Moody  The RF pole is real short and you can just push balls off of the green monster in LF. But, I agree, it's not a true hitters park for a lefty. 

Andrew LaForge
Andrew LaForge

@John Ford @Andrew LaForgeTo make sure you put a better product on the field to attempt to get more fans to the games, and try to win more games. Watching Tejada all over again doesn't give a lot of hope of improving. Adding a major league proven solid SS does. I am not saying Drew is going to put us over the top. Not even close. Having Drew for two years give the Mets a little more time to find a more stable SS for future or look at what they have already in the low minors.

Eddie_Dean
Eddie_Dean

@John Ford @Andrew LaForgeBecause they desperately need a SS. And because, who else are they going to spend it on? If the Mets don't get Drew, they're not bringing in any other free agent. Plus, on a team with all this young pitching talent, the dramatic upgrade defensively Drew would be over Tejada doesn't hurt development either. Remember how different the pitching looked when they got Duda and Cowgill out of the outfield and replaced them with EYJ and Lagares? Having a legitimate defense behind them helps the pitchers' confidence in a major way.

sylow59
sylow59

@dooley if all it took was deGrom, he would have been a Cardinal recently.  Peralta is a stop gap.  They're looking for a long term solution, and also a C to be ready in about 2 years.

Victor Triguero
Victor Triguero

@Starz31 @Victor Triguero  Not the point...my point being is that if they would of just given Reyes the money, we would have a SS and not have to worry about it now....SS is a huge glaring hole now....we do not have a "he is ok and we can ride with him" type SS. Tejada is not good at all..


It would be nice for the blog to point this out..

dooley
dooley

Yeah their asking price for Profar was ridiculously high

sylow59
sylow59

@dooley the Rangers wanted Taveras, Rosenthal, and 2 other near ready MLers (I think one of whom was CMart)..

dooley
dooley

I respectfully disagree. I think they would have gone after Profar if that was the case.

Ed Yano
Ed Yano

You do remember that in Reyes FA year the Mets were in a court case to determine if they would have to pay victims of the Madoff scheme.They had no clue what their financial situation was going to be.They could not offer a contract to Reyes because they had to hold on to all their cash until the end of the case.It sucks but that what was gripping on.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@Victor Triguero @Tarheel11  That's what made it so funny. Of all the people I would have thought of I could never have come up with her. Now I have that horse face image stuck in my head. Thanks a lot for that!