2/24/17

Tom Brennan - TOP 25 METS' PROSPECTS: # 2 DOMINIC SMITH

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Tom Brennan - TOP 25 METS' PROSPECTS: # 2 DOMINIC SMITH

Dominic Smith - the slick fielding 21 year old first base prospect and former first round pick made steady progress in his AA debut in 2016.  He started fairly slowly, with just a .259 average and 4 homers throuh June 23, but then surged thereafter, finishing the season at .302 with 29 doubles, 14 homers, and 91 RBIs in 130 games overall. 

For a guy who played half of 2016 in AA as a 20 year old before his birthday in mid-June, pretty darned good, if not spectacular.

All of that got him to # 63 in a recent Top 100 MLB prospect ranking, which makes him one of two Mets in the MLB top 100, but I wish he were higher in that list.  The lower level of homers is deflating his ranking, IMO.

Smith finally added some much-speculated about home run results in 2016.  14 dingers is still not great for a 1B, but I think that number will increase this year and carry over to 2018, when he most likely is the New York Mets' inexpensive full time 1B. 



One worrisome stat is a 250, his Bartolo Colon-like listed weight on his MILB stats card; I read where Smith's weight had come down this off season from a bulging 258 to 234 through consistent hard workouts and improved diet, but at just 6'0", it seems 215 or 220 would be a more ideal upper weight limit for Smith to excel playing at. 

Let's hope for a .350 + average in Vegas this year, a doubling of his home run rate to between 25 and 30, and that we'll see him in late 2017 in Queens, if not earlier. 

Given that Lucas Duda will become quite expensive next year, unless Duda has a breakout, career year in 2017, it almost certainly is Duda's last as a Met.   

I can picture Smith as a 35 double, 20 homer, .290+ hitter, somewhat similar to Daniel Murphy, but having a lot more homers at a much younger age than when Murph started hitting them with regularity.  

Hopefully, he'll become a Keith Hernandez, but with more power than Keith (who only averaged a dinger every 53 plate appearances in his big league career).

Smith should be our new starting 1B in 2018 - and be there for a LONG time to come...that's how I see it.
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Richard Herr - Year to Go For It/Year of Decision - #1

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Year to Go For It
 Year of Decision

In 2017 the Mets look to make an all-out dash for a World Series victory.  They are primed for it. They have the tools. We should and will be discussing what we can expect out of the team in the coming year.

However, as we look toward the year 2017 and rub our hands together in gleeful anticipation, we’ve got to remember something else. There’s going to be a big turnover at the end of this year. If--make that--When the Mets win the Series, they’re going to have quite a few guys who could be leaving the roster. The list is: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Asdrubal Cabrera, Neil Walker, Jose Reyes, Lucas Duda, Addison Reed, Rene Rivera, and Fernando Salas. Some key, starting players are on that list. The makeover of the team for the 2018 season will be a big job. Ironically, it’s to be expected. Sandy Alderson is a big fan of short-term contracts. That, by definition, means there’s going to be a higher turnover rate on the team and he’s going to be a very busy boy during off-seasons, readjusting his roster.

So I’d like to take a look at what I project for players for the current year, but also chart what should happen with them when 2018 rolls around.  If I did all of those at once, I would probably come in with something longer than War and Peace. I’ll see if I can come up with five groups: starting pitchers, relief pitchers, infield, outfield and catchers, and management.

So without further ado, I’ll start with:

STARTING PITCHERS.

Noah Syndergaard - He’s number one because he is big, and I’m not just talking physically. He’s got the opening day assignment, so he’s the number one guy on the staff. Not only is he the number one pitcher on the mound, but also in the clubhouse. He brings that thing I have always found wanting on this club: swagger. (It was nice to see TC also talking about it.) He’s going to inspire some guys who have been too tentative to become confident and downright audacious. (Lead us to the attitude of the ’86 club!) For 2017, I’m thinking about 18 wins and an ERA under 3.00.

The outlook for 2018: First year of arbitration, but put him on a list of about six pitchers to consider for long-term contract.

 Jacob deGrom - Savviest pitcher on the team. (Now that Big Sexy is in Atlanta.) Imperturbable. I’d like to think the ulnar nerve operation fixed his problem and that he’ll get the velocity back up. If he doesn’t, I think the savvy will work for him. Doesn’t have Thor’s swagger, but isn’t afraid to take the ball. For 2017, I’m thinking 15-16 wins and an ERA about 3.00.

The outlook for 2018: Arb 2 year. Isn’t a FA until 2021. He’s another guy on that list of six for long-term.

Matt Harvey - The Dark Knight is the Dark Question Mark. We need to see if he is fixed after the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery. Since he’s said he’s got the feeling back in his hand, it looks good. It would be great if he could return to his dominating form, but I have weird reasons for saying that. So in 2017, I say he’s back. Though a little wobbly. 13 wins, and an ERA around 3.00.

Then there’s 2018: That’s his walk year. Harvey is another on my list of six pitchers for long-term contract negotiations. I think Sandy’s got to try his best to sign him. But then there’s somebody else involved here: the Dark Kite, Scott Boras. The agent does not have a career that’s checkered with home-town-friendly contracts. He’s best known for getting as much money as possible. And I keep hearing how Matt wants to wear pinstripes. So Sandy should negotiate - right up until November 30th of this year. Then, if there’s no contract, look for the best trade for him. I’d love for Matt to stay, but I don’t think that’s possible. So do the old Branch Rickey thing of trading a guy a year too soon. Or, as it exists in the current baseball world, a year before free agency.

Steven Matz - The DL Kid. I’m hoping for a surprise here: few, if any, trips to the DL. Although I think he’s not going to give us 32 starts. We know the stuff is there. He’s their only left-handed starter. I’ll guess he loses some time. In 2017, I think he’ll get 12 wins with an ERA around 3.20.

In 2018 - This and another year of team control, plus the ARB years. He’s on that list of six for long-term contracts, but there most certainly is time.

Zack Wheeler - Hasn’t pitched in two years. Tommy John surgery is not 100% effective. How many people remember Bobby Parnell? I know I’m sounding doom-and-gloomish, but that’s only to stress the message of: let’s be cautious. Pitch the guy this year, but don’t overstress him, don’t overload him. At first I thought the bullpen was a good idea until Dan Warthen said Wheeler’s the slowest of the pitchers to rebound. If he’s got to spend the year in Vegas, starting four-inning games, fine, just so long as he doesn’t overextend himself. His victory total is a listed below.

For 2018 - ARB 2 year. Free agent in 2020. He’s another on that list of six. I don’t think any moves should be made in that direction until after 2018.

Lugsellman - I know they’re two individuals, but they’re filling one category. I think Gsellman will prove to be a little bit better because he throws ground balls. Lugo might do better coming out of the bullpen with a superior breaking ball. These are a couple of dominoes but they probably won’t fall in the same direction. One or both could be in the bullpen or Vegas. Or they could do a lot of starting like last year. I hope not because that means there are too many injuries. I’m going to put their win total for this year at 14. That total is for the two of them, and if Wheeler’s with the parent club his numbers are in this total.

For 2018 - They’ll be around. Let’s see if they grow to the point where they need to be added to that list of six.

That’s the starters. I think I’ve got a total of 72 wins among them. I tried to rein in my basic fan and keep the win totals down. The inner me that I squelched was looking for a lot more wins out of the first few guys.

I’m designating a list of six for long-term-contract consideration, but I think only one of them should be addressed in the coming off-season. For those of you who are counting, I know there are only five up above. The sixth is a reliever.

Whenever Richard Herr isn’t solving all the Mets’ problems, he spends his time writing humorous science fiction novels.



You can see his books at https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Herr/e/B00J5XBKX4.
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2/23/17

NEW MET - RHP - Wilfredo Boscan

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The Mets have announced that they have signed former Pittsburgh Pirate RHP, Wilfredo Boscan, to a minor league contract.

Boscan was originally signed by Texas and has pitched in the Rangers, San Diego, Boston, and Pirates organization. His 9-season minor league stat line is 56-66, 4.14, 1.37.

In 2016, he started 16 games for AAA-Indianapolis and produced a 6-7, 3.75 record. He also broke the barrier and pitched six games for the Pirates in Pittsburgh (6.60).

Look for him to join the Las Vegas rotation on opening day.

He will pitch 2017 as a 27-year old. 

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Tom Brennan - TOP 25 METS' PROSPECTS: #3 ROB GSELLMAN

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Tom Brennan - TOP 25 METS' PROSPECTS: #3 ROB GSELLMAN



Forget Rob Gsellman's 2016 minor league #'s, which were corrupted by having to pitch in the pitcher's penitentiary that is Las Vegas...so I will not even go there. 

Like many, his career #'s excluding AAA have been fine.  From now on, when a guy says to you, "But so and so did terrible in Vegas" just say "Whatever" and walk away.

Unlike most of the top 25 prospects, Rob got real pitching time in the majors.  And after the 13th rounder in 2011 had just turned 23.

Here are his major league numbers, which were outstanding, especially when he delivered strong performance after strong performance and was instrumental in the Mets securing a Wild Card berth: 44.2 IP, 42 K, 4-2, 2.63 ERA. 

What I saw of the athletic 6' 4" Gsellman in his 44.2 IP for the Mets in the pennant drive left me effusive: all I could say was 3 things: WOW…WOW…WOW.

The righty with the deGrom hairstyle actually pitched a lot like Jake: velocity getting into the mid 90's, fine breaking stuff and change up, command and maturity on the mound, and a strong sense of security that if he needs to start frequently for the Mets in 2017, it will be "real deal" talent, not Logan Verrett-like AAA+ pitching talent.

Not cast in stone, but I think Rob is the Mets' #5 starter going north this spring - it will be up to him to excel to keep his slot once Zach Wheeler is considered to switch to starter from the bullpen, Zach's most likely starting point in 2017.  if so, maybe Rob stays the #5 starter and Zach stays in the pen this year. 

Rob's 160 IP in 2016 forms a strong base for a Met starter's workload in 2017.

If Rob can put up pitching stats like the above for all of 2017, we've got quite a catch - possible rookie of the year?  We'll see.


Can he field?  Oh, he can core a apple, and field too.  Just 6 minor league errors in 539 IP, and no errors in his 44.2 IP with the Mets.


Of course, most exciting of all, he got left shoulder surgery so he should be able to hack, which he was not able to do in the games he started with the Mets last year.  The only real minor league hitting he did was in AA, where he was 2-14, with a walk and just 4 Ks.  Not a big sample, but not bad - and you have to be able to hit to be a starting pitcher on the Mets, of that there is no doubt.  Just ask deGrom, Thor, Matz, and even Harvey, who have combined to hit .167 in 461 major league at bats with 17 doubles, a triple, and 5 homers.  Someone has to replace Bartolo Colon's mighty bat, maybe that is Mr. Gsellman.
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Mack Ade - Lucas Duda

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Good morning.


Lucas Duda is one of the many New York Mets that are coming back from season ending surgery, but he has another problem in the streaks that continue to haunt his game.

Let’s look at some monthly batting averages over the past few years and the swing in results:

            2016 -            April: .256   May: .192
            2015 -            April: .325,  May: .276,  June: .187, July:  .178, Aug: .304
            2014 -            July: .293,  Aug: .214

No one questions whether Duda has the ability to hit in this game. And, he’s not the worst player to put a first baseman’s glove on his hand either. But one of his off-the-field decisions might have backfired on him big time.

Duda came off his best season in 2014 with a mad skill stat line… 30-HR, 92-RBIs… and the Mets offered him a 3-year, $30mil extension instead of playing out his arbitration years and going to free agency in 2018. Duda told the Mets to put the offer on the shelf and they would revisit it at the end of the season which, of course, they never did due to poor numbers and injuries.

The turning down of $30mil for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 season never made any sense to me. It still would have led up to a free agency year of 2018. Instead of the $30mil, Duda got $4.2mil out of the Mets in 2015, $6.725mil in 2016, and will be paid $7.25mil this season. That adds up to $18.175, which means his decision to pass on the 3-year contract, for the same years, left $11.825 on the table for no reason. What kind of dumb bunny does this?

Ex-Mack's Mets writer (come on back!), Stephen Guilbert, added -  

Lucas Duda makes the Mets better. A lot better. It's that simple. I could list all the reasons why, dive into the metrics, and end up in in a verbose James Loney-bashing spiral but the point of it will be this: The Mets need Duda at first base and they need to have him there for 150 games. If he can do that, he makes the entire lineup better, adds value in the field and ensures we avoid another Loney or Loney-type mainstay at a position that needs defensive consistency and actual offensive production. Regardless of Dominic Smith's development, regardless of Duda not signing an extension, and regardless of Duda's perceived "streakiness" (a term I have come to loathe...because baseball is a game of streakiness because that's how probability works and baseball is a game of probability and here I go down another spiral), he makes this lineup exponentially more imposing this year when the Mets are ring hunting. Mets fans need to stop bashing the guy and realize what they have. He's a big part of this team and one of the league's better overall first basemen when healthy.

I'll make a bold prediction: If and Yoenis Cespedes combine for 290 games played, the Mets finish in the top 10 in the MLB by wRC+.

Opinion – I guess it really doesn’t matter what my opinion is about this guy anymore. Best case scenario is he stays healthy, he hits, like, 40 home runs before the All-Star game, and we deal him off to another team trying to get to their pennant. Worst case scenario is he either slumps again, or his back goes out, and guys like T.J. Rivera and Wilmer Flores have to fill in until Dominic Smith is ready.

Either way, 2018 is Smith’s year and Duda will be history.

Very sad story about a guy that I always said had the sweetest swing of any Mets minor leaguers I have ever seen.
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2/22/17

INJURY UPSTATE - SS - Ronny Mauricio

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Update on top international prospect rumored to be signing a bonus deal with the Mets - 

Oh no. Ronny Mauricio, a top 2017 Dominican SS, makes a nice play up the middle, then leaves with an injury, carried off the field.
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Mack Revisited - The Mets Young Guns - Written 7-5-06

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I wrote this for NY Sports Day on July 5, 2006

Currently, the Mets are going through some pitching problems, but no fear, help is on the way. Very quietly though, the Mets brass has been assembling a combination of draft picks, international signings, and Rule V acquisitions, and the following list highlights some of the names you may come to know in the near future. 

Binghamton: 

Willie Collazo - Collazo was originally drafted in the 10th round, in 2001, by the Atlanta Braves, and played in their organization in Jamestown (2001), Macon (2001), Greenville (2002-2003), and Myrtle Beach (2003). The Braves lost Collazo to Anaheim in the Rule V draft, where it seemed that his career took off in the wrong direction. 2004 was spent at AA Arkansas (6-10, 4.62) and in April 2005, Collazo was suspended for 15 games for testing positive for steroids. His stats that year were a disappointing 6.75 ERA wth the Los Angeles Angels' Class AA and AAA teams. In 320.1 minor league innings, Collazo has posted a 3.82 ERA. His second chance came in March of 2006, when the Mets signed Collazo to a minor league contract after pitching for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. The Mets promoted Collazo to AAA Norfolk on 6-28-06, after going 6-5 and 2.86 with the B-Mets. 

Mike Pelfrey - Pelfrey spent his college career at Wichita State University, where he went 12-3 in his last season, posting a 1.93 ERA in 139.2 innings. The Mets selected Pelfrey in the 1st round (ninth overall) of 2005 draft, and gave Pelfrey a $5.25 million contract, through 2009, with a $3.5 million signing bonus. Mike was named to the Eastern League all-star team in 2006, and OnDeck currently ranks him as the Mets No. 2 prospect. He has posted outstanding numbers (4-2, 2.71) so far this season and is expected to be called up to the Mets before the season ends. 

Eddy Camacho - In 2003, Camacho played for the La Crosse Loggers of the Northwoods League. The Mets signed Camacho in 2004 after a very successful year at Cal-State Northridge, where he had allowed only 19 hits in 44 innings pitched that year. He finished that year in Brooklyn, posting a 3-1 record and a 0.69 ERA. 2005 brought more success, this time at St. Luice (2-4 2.74 10 saves). This year, he is 2-1 with a respectable 3.27 ERA. 

St. Lucie: 

Jose Sanchez – Sanchez was signed as an un-drafted free agent by the San Francisco Giants in 2002. He came to the Mets through a Rule V acquisition, in 2005, and was assigned to Hagerstown. Sanchez had a banner year, going 11-5, with a 4.20 ERA. So far this year, Sanchez is 8-4, with a 3.54 ERA, giving him a combined Met career record of 19-9. 

Phil Humber - Humber was first drafted in the 29th round of the 2001 draft by the New York Yankees, but chose to attend Rice University instead. Humber pitched three years for Rice University, compiling a 35-8 record and a 2.80 ERA. The Mets picked him as their No. 1 pick (third overall) in 2004, where he received a $3.7 million signing bonus. In 2005, Humber went a combined 2-7 for St. Lucie and Birmingham, and eventually underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He returned to St. Lucie on 6-28-06. Baseball America ranked Humber the 20th top prospect in the Florida State League. Humber throws a 90-94 mph fastball that tops off at 97, a true ‘12-6’ curve, and a splitter that he also uses as a change. OnDeck lists him as the Mets No. 3 prospect. 

Michael Devaney - Devaney was drafted by the Mets in the 23rd round (674th overall) of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft. He attended school at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, where he played both ways, hitting .409 with 10 HR's in his senior season. During his sophomore season, Devaney threw a no-hitter against Rockies prospect Jeff Francis. Scout.com listed him the 43rd top Mets prospect in 2004. In 2005, Devaney had a wonderful season last year in Brooklyn and was one of the top pitchers in the NY-Penn league. So far this season, he is 8-3 with a 1.62 ERA. You dream for a 23rd pick like this one. 

Hagerstown: 

Jonathan Niese – Niese was voted Gatorade High School Baseball Player of the Year for two straight years. The Mets drafted him in the 7th round in 2005, and Niese got his feet wet at the GCL Mets, going 1-0 in 7 games, posting a 3.65 ERA and throwing 24 Ks in 24.2 IP. This year, Niese is 8-4 for Hagerstown, with a 3.24 ERA. OnDeck has Niese listed as the 18th Mets prospect 

Deolis Guerra – Guerra was one of top 2 International prospects secured by the Mets last year. The Mets inked the 16 year old Guerra in July 2005 for $700,000, and he made his professional debut with Hagerstown on May 6, 2006. OnDeck ranks Guerra as the eighth Mets prospect. His pitches include a 91-92 mph fastball, and a developing change-up. It’s hard to judge a 17 year old playing organized ball, but Hagerstown has purposely limited Guerra’s pitches so far this season. He is 3-3 with a respectable 2.48 ERA. 

Brooklyn: 

Nelson Portillo - Portillo is a product of the Mets Venezuelan Summer League program. In 2005, Portillo went 6-0 with a 1.16 ERA. He allowed just 38 hits in 62.1 innings, while walking 17 and striking out 60. In 2006, Portillo spot started for the Hagerstown Suns and was transferred to Brooklyn when their season started. He is currently 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA. 

Kingsport

Nicholas Carr - Carr was drafted No. 41 in the 2005 MLB draft by the Mets. He came straight out of Twin Falls High School, where he posted a 17-4 record over his junior and senior year. Carr decided not to sign, and instead attended the College of Southern Idaho, where he went 5-3, 2.18 ERA, last year. The Mets signed him as a draft-and-follow on May 24, 2006. Terms of his deal were not disclosed. Currently Carr is all speed, with a fastball that tops out at 95 

Greg Mullens - The Mets signed Mullens as a free agent out of the Western Major Baseball League in Canada. In 2005, Mullens was named the Western Major Baseball League (WMBL) Pitcher of the Year, leading the league in wins, complete games, strikeouts, and OBA. The big righty is a native of Saskatoon, Sask., Canada and graduated from Columbia University in 2006. . After attending a Mets pre-draft workout in June and holding private workouts in his hometown, three major league teams show interest: the Mets, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners. In his final outing during the National Senior Championships, the Mets offered to sign Mullens and he became a professional player in August, 2005. He had a no-hitter going after 4 innings in his first outing at Kingsport this year and is currently 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA.
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Tom Brennan - TOP 25 METS' PROSPECTS: #4 BRANDON NIMMO

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Tom Brennan - TOP 25 METS' PROSPECTS: #4 BRANDON NIMMO


Brandon Nimmo - Don't underestimate him.

I'll be honest, I was not too thrilled with Mr. Nimmo being a first round pick for the Mets in 2011.  I felt like dialing 911.

His minor league offensive results coming into 2016 were (let's be honest) mostly mediocre, albeit with good on base skills.  

Nothing in particular stood out.  Low power, mensa mensa speed.  But he was just 22 in 2015 and had suffered a few injuries since 2011 which slowed his progress a bit.  

Then the AAA season starts and Nimmo continued to reinforce my negative opinion by going 11 for his first 56, with barely any power (no homers and just 2 two baggers).  I was thinking, when are all those Barwis workouts going to pay off?

Then BAM...Nimmo started to rip, and in doing so, rip up my accumulating opinion of him as being a guy who talked a very positive game and did not deliver in kind.

I reconsidered, thinking he might just work out as a decent number 1 pick after all, when I saw him go 127 for 336 the rest of the way, a robust .378, with 42 extra base hits.  His time with the Mets was also modestly encouraging, hitting .274 but with just one double and a tape measure homer in 73 ABs.

Breaking his season's performance further, Nimmo hit better in Vegas (.387/.461/.571) but quite well on the road too (.326/.394/.518).  Good!

The lefty hitting Nimmo had a truly superb lefty/righty split in Vegas, hitting .358 in 120 at bats against lefties with a .567 slug %, and .349 against righties.  Great!

All things considered, he had one heck of a season.  

With the log jam in the Mets outfield, Nimmo may be ticketed back to Vegas for the earlier part of the season until the log jam eases.  If that were to occur, doubling his Vegas 2016 homer rate of 1 every 40 at bats to 1 every 20 couldn't hurt a bit.  If he spends considerable time in Vegas, I'd hope to see him hit .375/.450/.600 to further cement his readiness.

Nimmo has only stolen 37 of 67 in the minors, so his speed at first seems around average, but he has compiled a triple every 18 games in the minors, so it seems that once he gets his motor running, he can cover a lot of ground fast.

Defensively, he's been a competent CF with some limited experience in left and right field.

Overall, Nimmo seems to have a ceiling as a solid 2nd, 3rd or 4th OF.  I think that if Nimmo can continue to improve (and why not), his ceiling could be as a lefty hitting Hunter Pence.  Really?  Yeah, really.

Keep in mind that Pence made his major league debut 2 weeks after his 24th birthday - Nimmo got to the bigs earlier and will be exactly that age on Opening Day - he had a heck of a year for a 23 year old, Vegas Boost or no Vegas Boost.  

I say to Brandon Nimmo, why not be another Pence, and help make the Mets Great Again?

Best wishes for a tremendous 2017 to a very likable guy, Mr, Nimmo.

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Reese Kaplan -- Daniel Murphy vs. Neil Walker

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A friend was recently bemoaning the Mets decision to let Daniel Murphy walk and felt they had a vastly inferior alternative in Neil Walker who promises to be more expensive than the near-MVP candidate of the Washington Nationals.  While I am usually the one who’s quick to criticize the front office, I couldn’t let that opinion go unanswered.

First of all, let’s look at the numbers.  Over a 162 game period Daniel Murphy produces a highly credible 13 HRs, 78 RBIs and .296 batting average while playing extremely questionable defense and executing some head scratching base running plays.  Walker over the same span would provide 20 HRs, 81 RBIs and a .273 batting average while providing superior defense.  Whether you prefer a higher average or more power, it seems they are pretty much a wash.

At the time Daniel Murphy was allowed to walk away the Mets were fixated on the compensatory pick that would come from making him a Qualifying Offer which he declined.  They won this gamble and Murphy found himself making a bit less than what was projected for him by accepting a 3 year $37.5 million contract in DC.

To address that void the Mets shipped disgruntled and superfluous pitcher Jon Niese to Pittsburgh in exchange for free-agent-to-be Neil Walker.  The money was close so he came to the Mets at a net cost of just $1.55 million for the entire year.  Daniel Murphy was coming off a year in which he earned $8 million, thus resulting in a payroll savings of $6.45 million and a supplemental draft pick.

The end result was a 2016 season in which Neil Walker provided 23 HRs and 55 RBIs in just 103 games.  Of course, the season ended early as a result of surgery, but he was on pace to get 30 HRs by year’s end.  Had he finished with that total most of the Daniel Murphy supporters would be a lot less vocal.

Now Murphy’s season for the Nationals was one for the ages.  He batted an incredible .347 with 25 Hrs and 104 RBIs.  The batting average is likely to return to earth somewhat as he’d only been a .289 hitter prior to last season, but it’s possible the run production will remain the same now that he has an RBI position in the order and some decent bats around him for protection.

Right now the rumor is that the Mets are exploring a $40 million plus contract for Walker with the stipulation he would spread this year’s $17.2 million lost QO bet over the term of the deal to reduce the payroll hit overall in 2017.  For those folks keeping score at home, that’s more money for what people think is a lesser player.

However, the answer is, as usual, not nearly as simple as it would appear to be on the surface.  Obviously the Mets extended the QO in the attempt to hedge their bets against a Yoenis Cespedes departure and David Wright’s ongoing health issues.  The latter is now the rationale behind these contract extension talks.  Should Wright be forced to retire, they need someone capable of manning 3B and providing Wright’s power.

This situation may never come to fruition, of course, because reports abound that talks have hit what’s been called a terminal roadblock.  If so, then as opined last week, the Mets may have to consider what’s best to do with Walker who may indeed want to test the free agent market if he proves himself healthy.  Towards that end the Mets may find themselves facing the very same dilemma at the end of 2017 as they did at the end of 2016 and have to provide an even more expensive QO or have him walk away for nothing.

If the latter happens, it’s not necessarily the worst thing in the world.  They will have paid Walker $28 million for two seasons of credible work and rid themselves of Jon Niese in the process (whose only work option is a minor league deal alongside castoff Ruben Tejada with the Yankees).  Next season should have Asdrubal Cabrera on one side Amed Rosario at shortstop and there are a myriad of options for the other.

Who do you think will have the better 2017 – Daniel Murphy or Neil Walker?  Do remember that Walker is both allegedly healthy for the first time in years AND is playing for his free agent future. Personally I think they'll be a lot closer than many would suspect.
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2/21/17

Mr. Shea Stadium - Tickets Behind Home Plate For Sale

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Our friend Cornell, over at Mr. Shea Stadium, passes on... 


Many of you last year jumped at the opportunity to buy these so we are giving you the chance to do so again this year!

    We are contacting all of our Mr Shea Stadium follows to tell you about some 2017 Citi Field tickets for sell. A friend of ours has season tickets DIRECTLY behind home plate Field Level, the best seats in the whole stadium! He has a list of games he will not be able to attend and has a web page listing those he is trying to sell. The link to paste is:


His link also has his email contact info. Any questions just contact him.

    Also don’t forget to visit our ebay store for NY Mets/ Shea Stadium & Polo Grounds listings under ebay ID:  cornell-9


Lets Go Mets!
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