Important Hot Stove dates, which starts tomorrow

The 2014 MLB season will conclude tonight following Game 7 of the World Series between the Giants and Royals.

Starting tomorrow, MLB teams will have five days to decide whether to make qualifying offers to their players eligible to be free agents. Players will have 12 days to accept or decline.

The GM Meetings will be in Phoenix, AZ, Nov. 10-12.

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone: In the last few years, thanks to real-time, digital reporting, more and more fun rumors leak from the GM Meetings. In addition to conferences and meetings about league issues, the GM Meetings are now used for teams to meet, talk about agendas, player values, offseason plans, learn who wants who, who’s available, etc. In the past, the next month was used for research, with deals happening during or after the Winter Meetings in early December. However, last year, a bevy of activity went down during November, not long after the GM Meetings.

The buzz in baseball is that teams got spooked by asking prices last year, they saw how much money was floating around the game, and triggers were pulled to get on deals earlier than later. Will that happen again? Who knows. One thing we can always count on, though, is an appearance by Scott Boras, who never misses a moment to make jokes and goofy metaphors about the Mets, their payroll and market.

The Baseball Writer’s Association of American name their NL Rookie of the Year on November 10.

The Rawlings Gold Glove award will be announced Nov. 4.

The last day for teams to offer 2015 contracts to their unsigned players is Dec. 2, six days before the MLB Winter Meetings which will be Dec. 8-11 in San Diego.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at New York Mets

Juan Lagares should win the Gold Glove award

Juan Lagares was recently named a Rawlings Gold Glove finalist for National League centerfielders, competing against Reds OF Billy Hamilton and the Nationals OF Denard Span.

Lagares is most deserving of the award, according to FanGraphs.com1, who write:

“Lagares is a former infielder, and he takes routes to ground balls in the outfield unlike many I’ve ever seen, putting him in great position to make throws. He basically plays center field like a shortstop, and it’s incredible to watch. … He also showcased excellent range and an ability to prevent errors. Comparing the two is apples and oranges, but Lagares may very well challenge Andrelton Simmons for the best defensive player in baseball, and it will be a shame if he doesn’t come home with the actual Gold Glove Award.”

In a look back at Lagares’s minor league career, Minor League Ball’s John Sickels points out that Lagares looked like an average prospect in the minors, but his defensive ability has turned out to be terrific, allowing him time to better develop his hitting.2

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone: Lagares will win, based on consensus among baseball people I’ve talked with. The same people believe Jacob deGrom will win the NL’s Rookie of the Year, by the way. This is exciting and encouraging and only emboldens my hope that these men can be a playoff team next year.

As for Lagares’s talent, he’s just a dream to watch play the field. It’s easy to get caught up in wins, rings, payroll debates, etc., but I also like to to stop and admire just how amazing these guys can be at simply playing a very, very difficult game. This is why I love Spring Training so much, because I can easily focus on talent instead of the boxscore. And, Lagares is worth the focused attention. He should win this award. It shouldn’t be debated.

Lagares was shut down for the remainder of the season in late September to rest a sprained elbow that did not require surgery.

He would be third Mets outfielder to earn a Rawlings Gold Glove, joining Tommie Agee (1970) and Carlos Beltran (2006-2008).3

The winners will be announced by Rawlings on November 4.

1. FanGraphs, Oct. 28 | 2. John Sickels, Minor League Ball, Oct. 28 | 3. Mets, Twitter, Oct. 22

Tuesday’s Arizona Fall League recap…

Mets second base prospect L.J. Mazzilli extended his hitting streak to six games with a 1-for-4 effort Tuesday. He also drove in his fifth run.

Mazzilli is batting .314, with a .415 on-base percentage and .514 slugging percentage in 10 AFL games.

Read more at SNY’s Mets Minors…

Mostly Mets, pres. by Caesars AC: Talking Long-ball with Jared Diamond

Toby Hyde and Robert Brender are joined by Wall Street Journal Mets beat writer Jared Diamond for a roundtable chat about new hitting coach Kevin Long. Later (24:15), they’re joined by Steve Selby, voice of the Memphis Redbirds, to talk about the loss of Oscar Tavares.

Subscribe in iTunes


Jed Lowrie: He is not a target of the Mets

SS Jed Lowrie will be a free agent this off season, but is not a target of the Mets right now, according to sources.1

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone: The Mets asked the A’s about Lowrie last winter, I heard from sources at the time. He was labeled as an ideal fit. However, that was before Wilmer Flores showed he is capable of being an every-day shortstop in the big leagues. Now, I think it’s Wilmer’s job to lose and Lowrie no longer fits in to the mix, especially since he’s likely to get a multi-year deal.

At the very least, my hunch is Alderson will try to trade for a former top prospect who is close to being out of favor, think SS Didi Gregorius or someone from Seattle. He’ll be someone that adds depth on the infield, but not acquired to be the clear-cut starting shortstop.

Jed Lowrie A’s 136 566 6 59 50 0 9.0% 14.0% .281 .249 .321 .355 93 1.9
Wilmer Flores Mets 78 274 6 28 29 1 4.4 % 11.3 % .265 .251 .286 .378 88 1.3

Sources: 1. Andy Martino, Daily News, Oct. 28 | 2. FanGraphs, Wilmer Flores | 3. FanGraphs, Jed Lowrie

Alex Rios on a one-year deal?

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors predicts free-agent OF Alex Rios will eventually sign a one-year, $8.5 million deal this winter.1

According to Dierkes, the Mets, Orioles, Reds, Tigers, Astros, Royals, Twins, Yankees, Phillies and Giants all seem like potential fits for Rios.

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone: The Mets have been linked to Rios each of the last three winters. He makes less sense now, because of their ballpark and his weak fielding. But, his bat and contract should be somewhat appealing to Sandy Alderson.

I still believe the Mets will sign a player like Rios this winter, whether it’s him, Jonny GomesColby Rasmus, Chris Denorifa, Ryan Ludwick, etc., there are comparable players to be had.

Rios, 33, finished 2014 with just a 0.20 WAR, playing in 131 games, but missing time with an ankle and thumb injury.

He is projected to hit .260 with a .298 OBP, 28 doubles and 2 HR, according to FanGraph’s Steamer projections.2

Sources: 1. Dierkes, MLB Trade Rumors, Oct. 26 | 2. Fangraphs, Alex Rios Player Page

Longest current World Series championship drought

Seasons Team Last championship won Last World Series appearance
105 Chicago Cubs 1908 1945
65 Cleveland Indians 1948 1997
53 Texas Rangers never 2011
52 Houston Astros never 2005
45 Milwaukee Brewers never 1982
45 San Diego Padres never 1998
45 Washington Nationals never never
37 Seattle Mariners never never
34 Pittsburgh Pirates 1979 1979
30 Baltimore Orioles 1983 1983
29 Detroit Tigers 1984 2012
28 Kansas City Royals 1985 2014
27 New York Mets 1986 2000

Longest current postseason drought

Seasons Team Last appearance
20 Toronto Blue Jays 1993 World Series
12 Seattle Mariners 2001 ALCS
10 Miami Marlins 2003 World Series
8 Houston Astros 2005 World Series
7 San Diego Padres 2006 NLDS
7 New York Mets 2006 NLCS