November 29, 2013

Enjoy Your Holiday Weekend

Like the rest of you, we're pretty busy here at Effing Mets this holiday weekend.  Therefore we're going to take the weekend off.  Should any important news break (Yea..right) we'll break in with our reaction and likely criticism.  Otherwise, we'll be back full-time on Monday morning with our normal hard hitting prowless on all things New York Mets.

Enjoy your weekend!  Don't get arrested, tazered or trampled at Walmart..

November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Mets Fans!

We know we're new around here, but we here at Effing Mets would like to thank you for taking the time to read our little work in progress. The past few months have been a lot of fun and we look forward to sharing our thoughts while throwing in a laugh or two for the foreseeable future.

With any luck, this time next year we'll be raising our glasses to toast a successful season that saw the Mets make some progress towards what we all hope is their ultimate goal, a World Series Championship. In the meantime, enjoy the day with your loved ones, be sure not to drink and drive, and if you happen to be reading this while deployed, thank you for your service and your sacrifice! 

Mets Things You Should Be Effing Thankful For Today


November 27, 2013

Mets Are So Bad They Could Mess Up A Three-Way...Trade

The Mets are starting to inquire with other teams about the possibility of a three-way trade in an effort to acquire an impact player this winter, according to Andy Martino of the NY Daily News.  Martino believes this latest plan of action has been spurred on by the notion that the acquisition of Chris Young was deemed underwhelming by many within the organization.

In my opinion this is a bit of a hail mary pass by the team's front office.  A seeming in ability to spend money combined with an unwillingness to trade away their better pitching prospects leads to the inclusion of a third, or even four team in trade talks.  Such moves are rare, but not unheard of.

This rumors could pick up when all the general managers find their way to Orlando for the Winter Meetings early next month.  Alderson has done very well in maximizing trade value, so he has that going for him.  With that said, I wouldn't get my hopes up.  Its beginning to look like a very anticlimactic offseason.

Chris Young Was Promised Open Competition For CF

Chris Young, of the recent $7.25 million, one year contract signing, had been presumed by most to be signed with the intention of being placed in left field next season. Yet, according to Anthony DiComo at mets.com, Sandy Alderson has promised Young an open competition for his chance to roam center at Citi Field.

Where on the diamond Young pursues those goals is what remains to be seen. Though Young said he prefers playing center field and feels most comfortable there, Alderson made no promises regarding Young's defensive position. Instead, the GM classified it as an open competition, saying the best defender will win the job so long as he meets the club's minimum offensive requirements.
Photo by Michael Baron
Well, to me this seems a bit... dumb. Unless this was an empty promise made to placate an insistence from Young, there was no reason to do it. Juan Lagares, coming off of a season in which he played outstanding defense, is regularly touted as an important piece moving forward, and at 24 years young could be looked at as the centerpiece of the Mets outfield of the future. Given time to develop his hitting, if he could improve upon last season's .241 average to closer to the .260-.275 range, he would be more than adequate for the position. A competition will either leave Young, a veteran, disgruntled, or could mentally hamper the progress of one of the very few bright spots from last year's dismal season.

The whole process, however, points to a larger problem. Alderson has to promise open competitions and David Wright has to make multiple recruiting calls just to land Chris Young. Not at a discount mind you, just paying a normal price for a fading player, and it seems we had to pull out some stops just to get him.

How hard/impossible will it be for a real free agent to be convinced that Queens is a suitable place to continue their career? Seems like it won't be easy.

Maybe Alderson Is The Architect Of The Mets Demise

I’m going to start with a disclaimer.  I’m not sticking up for anyone or making excuses.  This is more me playing devil’s advocate.  It’s gotten real cool the make fun of and rip apart the Wilpon’s.  I’m guilty of it.  You need a whipping boy when things aren’t going well.  Sandy gets a lot of flak too, but he doesn’t seem to draw the ire of fans like Fred and Jeff do.  I’ve been soaking it all in, and in thinking about it, I’ve come to the thought that maybe it’s not the Wilpons.

Let’s face it, the Mets did not pick Sandy Alderson, MLB did.  They picked him because he is smart and frugal and isn’t a free spender.  Sandy didn’t want the job.  Sandy took the job because his boss, Commissioner Selig, asked him too.  Don’t forget how close Selig and Fred Wilpon are.  

The Wilpon’s are businessmen.  They’re loaded and it’s because they’re good at their job.  They made a mistake investing with a conman, and are paying the price.  However, as businessmen, they understand you have to spend money in order to make money.  I would think at this point, they’d shell out the money if Sandy said it was worth it.  Sandy is not that guy though.  He’s not a risk taker.  The biggest signing he made when he was the GM of the Padres was Brian Giles.  Otherwise he did nothing in terms of bringing free agents there.  When he got to San Diego, he inherited a team with a payroll of $62.8 Million (17th in MLB).  The team overachieved and won a weak NL West division 2 years in a row.  They had just moved into a new stadium.  A new stadium + playoffs should equal revenue. Increased revenues should equal increased investments to your roster…right?  Wrong.  By 2009, the Padres payroll was $42.7 Million.  Good for 29th in the league.  

Sandy Alderson does not like to give long term commitments or to overvalue players.  Sandy thinks he is smarter than the game of baseball.  He didn’t come here with long term visions of winning.  He came here to stabilize the financial footing of an ownership desperate to hold on to their baseball team, and is backed by the commissioner.  And frankly I don’t think Sandy gives a shit if they win or lose.  You can tell in his interviews he’s fed up and doesn’t seem to care.  He’s likely going back to the MLB offices next year to take over for Selig when he retires.  Sandy probably is looking down the road and doesn’t want to have to deal with this situation again.  He can avoid it by saddling the Mets with long term contracts.  And once he leaves, it’s not his problem.  

I’m not saying the Wilpon’s are not responsible for this.  Up until this point, I think they were more of the problem.  I just think after 3 years of hearing the same song and dance from Sandy, that he may have more control over the Wilpon’s purse strings than they do.  I know I have said before to be patient until the meetings, and I still stand by that.  It just seems that all you hear out of Mets camp is who they won’t be spending money on instead of who they are trying to spend money on.

The above post is purely speculation not based on any facts at all.  Hit me up on twitter and tell me what you think @GetsThruBuckner

Nelson Cruz Seeks 4yrs/$75 Million, Mets Pretend They're Still Interested

Welp..this winter has spiraled out of control rather quickly.  The Mets remain in "sticker shock" over free agent prices that Jeff Wilpon described as "scary".  They declined to overpay on Jhonny Peralta who managed an absurd 4yrs/$53 million.  Hell, the Mets wouldn't even give LaTroy Hawkins a paltry sum of $2.5 million next season.  Meanwhile, according to Jon Heyman the Mets remain interested Nelson Cruz despite the fact that he's seeking a contract of 4yrs/$75 million.

You'll have to excuse me if you expect me to believe that Sandy Alderson is going to drop nearly all of his remaining budget on an outfielder who will turn 34 next season.  An outfielder who not only lost 50 games to the Biogenisis scandal last season, but one who will also cost him a second round pick in next seasons amateur draft.

Ultimately, Cruz is shooting high as he should.  I suspect it will take something in the neighborhood of 4yrs/$64 million to retain the slugger's services.  Jhonny Peralta's deal proves there is little hesitation in the market to bring on a potential PEDs issue, but the outfield market is much deeper than that of shortstop.  As a result Cruz's offense will bring him a few more millions, but he'll fall short of the amount he's publicly seeking.

The Mets too will fall short.  They'll fall short of their fans' expectations.  They'll also fall short on their own plans to improve the roster, because I highly doubt their interest in Cruz is genuine.  Its not in line with everything they've said this winter, and this will be the most recent market they're priced out of.


Front Office Failure: Tejada Could Be The Opening Day ShortStop

In an absolutely incredible yet comically predictable turn of events, Sandy Alderson conceded that Ruben Tejada could be the Mets starting shortstop on opening day.  The Mets failed to sign Jhonny Peralta, who was their top target per multiple reports, and now find themselves with precious few options to upgrade the position for next season.

The Mets won't go after Stephen Drew who will not only be more expensive than Peralta (4yrs/$53MM), but will also cost a draft pick.  That leaves either a trade or a low budget signing that is sure to send the fan base into a frenzy.

The story here shouldn't be that Tejada may get a chance at redemption, it should be that the front office failed.  They bad mouthed Tejada throughout 2013, sent him through an offseason nutrition program, yet will be forced to bring him in to fill the need at short because they can't manage to do better.

Tejada will turn just twenty-four this season and will be looking to rebound from a very disappointing 2013 campaign that saw him bat just .202 while appearing in just 57 games.  On the verge of being demoted to the minors, Tejada injured his quad and landed on the disabled list.  He would be banished to Las Vegas where he would bat a much more respectable .288, but couldn't find his way back into Sandy Alderson's good graces, delaying his call up until September 11th.  He would play in just seven games before his season was ended by a broken leg.

Despite the fact that most fans have made up their minds on Tejada, the jury should remain out.  The issue remains that even if he returns to form, which may be unlikely due to what the organization has deemed work ethic issues, he is basically a singles hitter.  He does nothing to fill the team's power void, which the front office has said is an additional priority this winter.  There is no way around it, Tejada's second chance at success will be the result of his front office's failure to replace him.

November 26, 2013

Wright Thinks The Offseason Will Pick Up At The Winter Meetings

David Wright's "The Mets Are Mediocre At Best" media tour continued this afternoon when he appeared ESPN NY 98.7 Radio.  In what amounted to an identical interview to the one he had on WFAN 660 yesterday, Wright had the following to say:

- Sandy has some tricks up his sleeve for the Winter Meetings, when Wright believes the plan will start taking shape.
- Everyone knew the free agents prices would be high.
- Wright expects the team to be much better going into next season, so fans should "have faith".

The organization has been sucking the faith out of its fans for what amounts to the better part of a decade now.  Even those of us who still have some, don't have much.  With that said, the Mets have been more than vocal about their sticker shock this winter.  Perhaps, Wright should have let the front office in on the notion that prices would be sky high.

Finally, for what its worth, the MLB Winter Meetings will take place from December 9th thru the 12th in Orlando, FL.  This is usually when the offseason ramps up, however this winter has seen a slew of early action.  Perhaps Alderson does have a plan of actions, but I think its a better chance Wright is just hoping against hope that he wasn't swindled by the front office's presentation last winter when he reupped.

Wright remains a consummate professional, so it should come as no surprise that he said all the right things in these interviews.  However, I feel his pleas are falling on deaf ears with both the front office and the fans.

The Mets, Now Ruining Christmas

Certainly, most of you have seen this by now, but it is all sorts of internet wonderful. It includes Justin Turner being absurdly into Christmas caroling, extremely awkward quasi dancing from Dillon Gee, David Wright looking horribly coerced, and this terrific screen grab of Matt Harvey spreading Christmas cheer. Enjoy!


Mets Don't Spend, But Even Cheaper Teams Do Better

So let's say we've all just resigned ourselves to the fact that this offseason will not contain the big splash we'd all hoped it out. The Mets are cheap, are going to remain cheap, and there's nothing we can do about it. But, even for cheap clubs, it seems they aren't very good at it. Joel Sherman of the New York Post agrees, with this to say about how they can improve.

The Mets have conditioned their faithful to talk longingly about getting to a $100 million payroll, when really this franchise has the peripheral benefits that should support at least a $140 million-ish roster...
The Mets need to be about the bottom up. A persistent problem from when they were contenders in 2007-08 and dreadful the past five years is a lack of depth that destroys them as the season progresses. From Aug. 1 on over the past seven years, you simply see the Mets giving too many at-bats to players such as Cory Sullivan, Chris Carter, Nick Evans, Willie Harris, Mike Baxter and Omar Quintanilla...There have been too many late-season days when they too closely resemble the Long Island Ducks. They need to fortify the whole roster, even with money tight.
Photo by Michael Baron

Sherman is right. Even with the money they are spending, they aren't doing a very good job of even bringing in Major League players. If we have to accept that we are going to spend like a small market franchise, can't we at least expect to be a successful small market franchise? We don't even get that.

A lot of people defend Sandy Alderson for not being the main cause of the team having a low payroll, and I agree, it probably is the Wilpons holding the purse strings tight. But at what point can we blame him for not effectively using the means he does have? We need more "buy low" success stories than Marlon Byrd for this team to start winning again soon under the current conditions.

Could David Wright Pressure Ownership Into Spending?

Full disclosure: I am a huge David Wright fan. Not "wet myself and call him Captain America" big, but he says the right things, seems to be a genuinely decent person and plays a damn good third base. Now, formalities aside, let's talk about what Wright could have said on Mike Francesa'a show the other day.

"I've got to tell you Mike, when they promised me that they were committed to winning, that I wouldn't have to play the rest of my career on non-contending teams, these were not the types of offseasons I had anticipated." He wouldn't have to tear them apart, but tell them how unhappy is. Tell them this is not the situation they had described to him. Subtly, gently, without using the word, call them liars.

Photo by Michael Baron
Nobody else could do this. There isn't anyone else on the team with bona fides in the league or the cache in the franchise to put the Wilpons on the spot like that. Matt Harvey, the only other player on the roster with anything approaching Wright's star power, can't say anything without seeming like an impetuous young player. Wright is widely viewed, by fans and the rest of the league, as having suffered under the Mets ineptitude for some time now. He'd face little to no backlash from the fanbase; he would, in fact, probably be praised for it. Real, genuine frustration and anger from David Wright would bring the clamor from the team's loyal legion of fans to a fever pitch, and a failure to act on it in a serious manner would carry with it a pretty serious connotation of an inability, perhaps financially, to successfully run the team. It may not work, but that public pressure is the only leverage Wright could have in trying to change his own future.

Now, some of you are probably thinking that this is an unreasonable thing. "Would you go on the radio and publicly denounce your own employers?" you are asking, sneering at me smugly, silently loathing the very thought of this article. My answer: if I had a guaranteed contract and a no trade clause, I sure would. He has a lot at stake: his future, his legacy, the effect never winning a championship might have on his Hall of Fame prospects. And, with the no trade clause firmly in place, what recourse do the Wilpons have over Wright? What are they going to do, bench him? We'd raid and pillage Citi Field, and they know it.

Speak up, David.

David Wright Is Going To Be Disappointed

Late yesterday afternoon, David Wright spoke with Mike Francesa about the current offseason and the future of Wright's career in general.  Wright explained to the Radio Pope that he remains expectant of a big winter and acknowledged that its been somewhat of a slow start.  Wright hopes to see the Mets add offense to compliment their already deep starting pitching.

You'll recall that a big part of the supposed reason he chose to sign an extension with the team last winter was a "plan" for improvement that would see the Mets turn into contenders.  However, he did say yesterday that he never really gave real thought to leaving the organization.  A bluff during a contract negotiations?!? Who would've thought...

In the long run, Wright said he greatest accomplishment was to be named Captain of the team.  Also, despite what has already been a fairly successful career, one in which Francesa himself said Wright could flirt with the Hall of Fame, he ultimately wants to be remembered as the leader of a winning team. 
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Wright remains my favorite current player, but I fear he's going to find himself disappointed.  Empty aspirations and hollow promises from the team's front office may have painted a much rosier picture than the future actually holds and a get the impression Wright contract may eventually be cost restrictive to improvement as time goes on.  A lot will have to change for the Mets to be perennial winners during Wright's tenure, which currently has just seven years left on the clock.

November 25, 2013

Mets Running Out Of Options At SS

Jhonny Peralta, as you already know is a Cardinal. He signed for 4 years and $52 million, a number which I am sure "shocked" the Met front office. I tend to agree the signing is a little on the high side, but I wonder anymore what the Mets really expected to pay for players.

So, shortstop is still on the list of holes the Mets need to fill. As we all remember, Rafael Furcal's name was thrown out as potential stop-gap for the position, but at 36 years old and coming off of a Tommy John surgery, he would not be the ideal fit. He does fit the Alderson mold of buying at a discount, however, and should probably remain on the radar.

Photo by Michael Baron
With Ruben Tejada attending the offseason nutrition program, the team is still investing time and effort into keeping him in the development process as well. 2013 was a tenuous season that saw him play a lot of games in Las Vegas, with rumor being that it was to quell his sense of entitlement to his position. With Peralta off the table and Furcal unappealing, it is a possibility that the front office never really had it's heart set on replacing Tejada anyway.

The trade market remains a possibility. Tulowitzki remains unlikely to leave Colorado this offseason. Stephen Drew would be a nice addition, but his agent is Scott Boras, and Boras and the Mets brass never play in the same sandbox together well.

Really, it sounds like the Mets are running out of options to seriously upgrade the position, which sucks. I think we'd all like to see the team run a better option out there than Quintanilla and Tejada, but I'm starting to think we're going to see no change this year.

Meet the Meh's.

The Mets Lack Of Free Agent Spending

If you include the money spent on outfielder Chris Young last week, the New York Mets have now spent just $30,850,000 over the course of the last FOUR offseasons.  That is almost mind numbing when you think about the fact that five teams have already spent more than that this winter alone.

Some notable "small market" teams who've dwarfed the frugal Mets over the past four years...  Kansas City has invested $78.175MM.  Oakland (the Moneyball capital of the baseball world) has dropped $51.25MM.  Even Tampa Bay and Seattle, two teams who are yet to make a move this winter have spent $42.075MM and $33.1MM, respectively.

Its become borderline comical that the Mets, who reside in the largest market in baseball, cannot manager to find their checkbook.  This winter appears not different, with front office personnel tripping over one another to gripe to the media about free agent prices.

Here is a look at how things shape up this winter to date:

1) NY Yankees ($85MM)
2) St. Louis ($52MM)
3) Philadelphia ($42MM)
4) San Francisco ($36MM)
5) Kansas City ($32MM)
6) Cleveland ($12MM)
7) LA Dodgers ($10MM)
8) San Diego ($8MM)
9) NY Mets ($7.25MM)
10) Texas ($3.80MM)
11) Oakland ($3MM)
12) Colorado ($2.5MM)

Obviously things can change, with the Mets supposedly looking to add an impact bat in right field.  However, fans remain increasingly skeptical.  With reports that Alderson has roughly another $20MM you spend this winter things won't be changing that much.  At some point, someone has to ask the team's front office this: "If you won't spend money on players, how can you expect fans to spend money on tickets?"

Mets Offseason Is Slipping Away

It seems a bit alarmist to say before the MLB Winter Meetings have even started, but the New York Mets' offseason of change is beginning to look like a bit of a flop.  With yesterday's news that shortstop Jhonny Peralta has signed in St. Louis, its becoming increasingly more difficult to see how Sandy Alderson is going to accomplish his goals this season.

Peralta represented the most logical choice, at the position Sandy Alderson himself said was his number one priority this winter.  By way of a four year deal worth $53 million dollars Peralta is now off the board.  As a result, Stephen Drew remains the only significant free agent shortstop remaining.  He however is by all accounts well out of the Mets price range.

So what happens now?

I suppose conventional wisdom might say that the inability to retain the services of a formidable shortstop leaves more money for other places.  The problem remains the organizations apparent unwillingness to "overpay".  The Mets have been linked to both Curtis Granderson and Nelson Cruz, but can you see Sandy Alderson cut deal worth more than $60 million dollars for either?  I'm not so sure I do...

Too old?  Too expensive? Too long?  We've heard all the excuses and we're getting mighty sick of them.  While is certainly too early to call this offseason a bust, the writing is on the wall that it will fall far short of even the most modest fan's expectations.  The Mets promised a roster renovation this winter, but it appears we might be in for more of the same.

NYP: Chris Young Will Be The Full-Time Left Fielder

Since learning the terms of his signing late last week, Mets fans have been wondering what role Chris Young will play for the team in 2014.  Joel Sherman shed a bit of light on the topic yesterday, with this little nugget of information buried inside his article that discussed the Mets need to be better bottom feeders:
Alderson went to Houston to meet face-to-face with Chris Young. One reason the Mets believe they succeeded in signing him is the GM promised full-time play, though probably not in center. The Mets believe Young is one of those players who needs regular at-bats to succeed, to be closer to the All-Star he was in 2010.
To spell that out for everyone... The New York Mets have agreed to pay Chris Young, a player who hasn't hit better than .250 since the 2010 season Sherman references, who is a career .225 hitter against lefties and is coming off a season during which he managed an OPS of just .659, a whopping $7.25 million dollars.  That's full-time money for what will apparently be full-time duty.

Sherman explains that if the Mets aren't going to add big time free agents, they need to spend what money they do have better.  Its common sense, which Sherman believes the team didn't use when deciding to bring Chris Young on full-time.  Unfortunately, I'm included to believe.

As I wrote on Friday, Young is a major risk as a full-time player.  He is significantly better against left-handed pitching.  Of the 679 pitchers who appeared in the majors last season, only 198 or 29.2% were lefties.  This severely limits Young's chances of full-time success in my opinion.  One is only left to conclude that this is a very suspect signing by Sandy Alderson given both the financial and playing time commitments that have apparently been made.

November 23, 2013

Chris Young's Power Should Translate To Citi Field

2013

2012

2011

Above are scatter charts showing all of Chris Young's home runs over the past three seasons.  What you'll find is that every single one (42 for 42) will have been out at Citi Field.  Going back a little farther from 2009 to Present, that number is actually 87 of 88.

This shouldn't necessarily ease the blow of the news that Sandy Alderson spent what could amount to a quarter of the team's offseason budget on Young, but its nice to see his should be capable of hitting the ball out of cavernous Citi Field.  His power is dead pull, so I'd advise those on the party deck next summer to pay attention when Young enters the box.

All charts were obtained using ESPN's Hit Tracker.

Should the Mets Give Jhonny Peralta A Four Year Deal?

Mets fan's needn't look any farther than yesterday's acquisition of Chris Young to know that the market for free agents is up this winter.  If you do take the time to look farther, you would see that Hunter Pence, Marlon Byrd and even Carlos Ruiz have all earned contracts higher than expected.  So that, paired with rumors that Jhonny Peralta was seeking a five year deal worth $75 million lead me to tweet the following yesterday:
My thinking was that Peralta was shooting high, which he should if he's going to maximize his value.  The baseball community unanimously kicked back at the notion of 5/$75M, but with prices being what they are I just shaved a year and a few million a year off his proposal.  Four years for a total of $52 million is where I landed.  A whopping $13 million per year.

Later yesterday evening, my line of thinking..which is often criticized, was vindicated for a change:
Occasionally its nice to be right, although I'm not sure this is one of those times. The Mets went into this winter with the pipe dream that Peralta could be had on just a two year deal.  Most experts predicted three, but now its clear that it will be four years.  So that begs the question: Should the Mets offer a four year contract to an already 31 year old shortstop coming off of a PEDs suspension?

Unfortunately its not just a matter of what happens with Peralta, because the team has other holes to fill.  With that said, I would have to advise that if the Mets are unable to land an impact bat for right field (whether it be Nelson Cruz or Curtis Granderson), they should make the move for Peralta.  Despite the fact that Peralta does not have the level of power the Mets covet, he is a significant offensive improvement at shortstop.

Looking into the future, four years would bring him through his 36th birthday.  That's pretty old for a shortstop, but there has already been talk of him shifting to second base or even the outfield.  Does that type of flexibility make him a more viable option in the long term?

Again, I only make this deal if Sandy believes he won't be able to sign an impact bat.  I would much rather add thirty home run potential in left if given the opportunity.  However, if they're going to be priced out of that group (which I think is very possible), fill the other glaring hole on the diamond.  Don't let rising prices be an excuse for returning a mediocre lineup.  Four years and at least $52 million is certainly an overpay, but overpay we must if the Mets are ever going to return to relevance.

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Bill Bramhall, 2008

November 22, 2013

Withholding Judgement On Chris Young's Deal

Its been a crazy morning in Mets land.  First the euphoria that the Mets didn't wait until the New Year to make a major league addition, then the head scratching moment when we learned that Sandy Alderson allocated a whopping $7.25 million to that acquisition, Chris Young.  Now we have to wrap our heads around it.

I'll admit when I look at the deal by its lonesome it doesn't make much sense.  Young doesn't fit the Sandy Alderson mold that we often talk about.  He strikes out a lot and doesn't get on base particularly well overall.  He also doesn't necessarily fill the power void that Alderson himself has talked about this winter.  So why him?

When the deal broke I assumed the goal was to have Young serve in a platoon.  He is significantly more effective against left-handed pitching (BA .262 vs. .225 & OBP .363 vs. .295).  I mean those numbers, when combined with the power potential he does have, would make him a decent fit against lefties in 2014.  But the contract is so expensive I question whether Alderson envisions him as an every day guy.

This is exactly why I'm waiting to pass judgement on this move.  Hear me out...

I've read projections that say Ike Davis is set to make about $1 million more than Matt Joyce is through arbitration next season.  As a rumored trade, lets pretend for a minute that Joyce is acquired.  He too has decent power potential, plus his effectiveness versus right-handed pitching (BA .260 vs. .194 & OBP .354 vs. .270) makes him an ideal platoon mate for Young in left field.

What does that get you?  Well, if you look at their career numbers it would probably look like a total stat line of around .260/20/75.   That's a 17 point increase in batting average, six additional home runs and 24 more runs batted in than the Mets got from left field last season.  That a pretty decent upgrade, which at that point comes at a discount.  If the Mets were to pull off that trade for Joyce, saving about $1 million in the process, they've now obtained that upgraded left field production for a total cost of roughly $6.25 million.  Find one player who you can sign for just $6.25 million that can give you that kind of yield...

I know a lot has to happen for all of that to work out.  I'm not saying it will.  I'm not saying I even think its likely, but it remains possible.  The Chris Young deal by itself simply doesn't make sense to me.  So rather than panic, I'm going to wait.  If March 31st comes along and Young is your every day left fielder, you have every reason to be upset.  But until then.. I'm going to wait before I assume the worst.

Like what you read?  You can follow me on Twitter at @RobPatterson83

Getting Harder To Talk Mets Fans Off The Ledge

The Mets made a signing. Chris Young, coming off of a .200 batting season, has been signed to a one year contract worth $7.25 million, according to Buster Olney. Anybody with a Twitter account saw how that played out.

SPOILERS: not well.



More of the like could easily be found. There were a few defenders, and more of the wait-and-see types, which includes our own Rob Patterson. He believes that this signing, if it proves to be of a part-time or platoon type signing, could be okay. I fall on the other side. A platoon player for $7.5 million given our long rumored and assumed financial restrictions leads me to believe there will be no signing of a big time player this offseason. Curtis Granderson becomes extremely far fetched. It seems almost definite now that if the Mets plan to make any type of splash this winter it will come in the form of a trade.

But really, can you blame people for being upset? This buying (extremely) low and hoping for a complete turnaround is getting old. Yes, I know about Marlon Byrd, but he was a great story because of how unlikely it was for that to happen. I want the Mets to get players that WILL be good, not COULD be good. Plus, Byrd was bought low... at a low price, not at roughly 20% of our budget to improve the team. Young was bought low at a high price after a fairly steady decline in his numbers over the last few seasons.

So, no, I'm not happy with this signing, and I don't blame anyone else for being unhappy.

Mets In The Mix For Nelson Cruz

This was Ken Rosenthal's contribution to my morning.  Its good news, I suppose.  I certainly wouldn't want Chris Young to be the biggest addition to the outfield this winter.  That said, the notion of Nelson Cruz isn't quite what I was looking for when the offseason began.

Cruz ends up on the Mets radar in all likelihood because he will be a cheaper power hitter than Curtis Granderson.  His PEDs suspension last season aside, he has had some difficulty staying on the field over the length of his career, averaging out 120 games per season from 2009 to 2011.  He is however an upgrade in right field over what Marlon Byrd gave us last year.  If he's able to stay on the field, it would be safe to say that Cruz give you .260/30/90 potential, and immediately slots in behind David Wright in the lineup. 

I am curious about cost.  Cruz did receive a qualifying offer from the Texas Rangers, meaning the Mets would forfeit their second round pick next summer if they sign him.  This also means that he'll be looking for a deal with an annual value of between $12MM and $15MM.  It was reported earlier this winter that Cruz sought a five year deal worth more than $80MM, which was unanimously downplayed by insiders throughout the game.

The Mets need to make an impact addition in right field.  Cruz would fill that need.  Despite the fact that I would probably prefer Granderson, beggars can't be choosers.  I just want to see the Mets make responsible moves.  At the right number, Cruz would be just that.

Mets Are On The Board..Sign Chris Young

Its not the type of acquisition that will put many minds to rest, but the Mets have made their first move of the winter, signing 30 year old outfielder Chris Young. The deal is for one year, pending physical. Financial terms of the deal have not been released.

Young spent 2013 with the Oakland A's, where he made $8.5 million. Young appeared in just 107 games during which he posted a .200 BA with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs. Young has had a trip to the disabled list in each of the past two seasons, losing 18 days to a strained left quad in 2013 and 20 days in 2012 to a shoulder injury. Young could be the first part of platoon package, as his career numbers are much better again left handed pitching (.262 vs .225).

 Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports promptly reported following this signing that the Mets remain interested in power hitting outfielder, Nelson Cruz, despite this signing. So we'll have to wait and see where we go from here.

I am slightly disappointed that Chris Young (the pitcher) is no longer with the organization.  That whole Bobby Jones vs. Bobby Jones era was kinda fun.  With that said, I hope the acquisition of Young isn't the only deal made for the 2014 outfield.  Young is not an everyday player and with the one year deal would only be another stopgap.  We'll have to see what else gets accomplished this winter before we can accurately assess this one.

November 21, 2013

Forward Thinking Mets Fans?

Allow me to ask a question.. How did we get here?  How did the Mets go from having the looks of a perennial contender in the mid to late 2000s, to being a never ending punch line once more?  How do we fix it?  How do we make sure it doesn't happen again?

Ok..that was a few questions. 

The goal here isn't to assign blame. There is plenty of that to go around.  The root of this problem can be narrowed down to poor financial and personnel decisions. That's how we got here and that's why we've remained a punch line for five years and counting. 

So, I ask again. How do we fix it and then make sure it doesn't happen again?

First and foremost I urge fans to get over the notion: "I don't care what it costs, I just want the team to get better".  You should care, a lot.  We can rage against the machine all we'd like, but its apparent at this point the Wilpons aren't going anywhere anytime soon.  Because we have a common interest, the Mets, their financial woes are also ours.  Accept the notion of a mid-market payroll and lets think about how we can make this thing work. 

The other thing I implore fans to do is try to find a contract longer than five years in length that worked out to the team's benefit. They are few and far between. Bad contracts played a large part in the organization's inability to right itself in recent years.  The "best" available deal, may not be the right one.  

Think past this year and the next. Your rebuilding something, not putting the final touches on it.  Crazy contracts for players on their early thirties don't work if you're years away from a world series run. It takes time..unfortunately more than we've already endured. The Mets are our team, and their problems are our problems. It took more than a few years to break it, so it's probably going to take that long to out it back together. 

I know you want to win now. I'm sure they do to, but let's look farther than the end of our nose so we can grasp the reality of the situation, and collectively start moving forward. 

Yesterday Is Why Leaving WFAN For WOR Is A Downgrade

Unless you live under a sports rock, you know that Alex Rodriguez joined Mike Francesa on WFAN yesterday after walking out of his arbitration hearing. The interview was, in my opinion, a little soft, but just the landing of A-Rod was a big deal. It was the first time he'd spoken out publicly since the beginning of these proceedings. In the sports world, this was big.

So big, in fact, that even ESPN, the Worldwide Leader In Sports, couldn't ignore the interview, much as they probably would have liked to following the Olbermann-WFAN on air spat in the past couple of weeks. The station is a fixture on the sports media landscape. Yes, I recognize that it is a local station, but it is local in the biggest market in the country, and it dominates it. This interview is on the front pages of newspapers, websites, local and national blogs all over the country. Francesa regularly lands the bigger names and better interviews than the unlistenable Michael Kay program. Like Boomer and Carton in the morning or not, their local presence and impact really can't be denied, either.

Then, WFAN lands the Yankees broadcast rights. The biggest team, in the biggest town, on the biggest stage. The Mets had been broadcast on a premier station. After the game, even after Mets Extra, the sports continued, with many commutes home being chaperoned by Steve Somers (with me here, and him there). The days of setting your dial to the Fan in April and leaving it are over.

Howie Rose and Ed Coleman
Photo by Michael Baron
When the front office tours the 50,000 watts and the reach of the station as reasons why this is not a downgrade, it's hard to take them seriously. When they boast that the deal will pay them more money (which, incidentally, they don't seem to be willing to spend), they have to realize that I don't care. After a big win, I don't want to hear news radio. Truly, I don't. I also now cannot tune back into the Fan for reaction, because they will almost certainly still be broadcasting whatever four hour game the Yankees are playing that night, plus post-game. The end of the game will be the end of the night, no instant reaction, no Schmooze produced highlight snippets, no fans calling in talking about the feeling of the crowd. Just John Sterling stumbling over last names and mis-calling home runs, and someone on our home station droning on about politics or past lives.

The move to WOR is a downgrade, Mr. Wilpon.  Please don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining.


Free Agent Signings Don’t Happen At The Fans' Pace

Let me start by saying this. I’m just as frustrated over the last 7 years of Mets baseball as anyone else is. I’ve sat through dozens of games in person and hundreds on TV waiting for the team to play well. I am well aware of the importance of this off-season. I eagerly sit around waiting to hear an announcement of any move that may improve this team. Obviously, nothing significant has happened yet. And plenty of people are voicing their frustration on Twitter about it. Well here’s a word of advice, get over it. Hot stove is a game of chess, not checkers. Agents are out there testing the waters. Top free agents don’t sign the first week of free agency. It just doesn't happen. A market needs to develop. You think Robinson Cano was just going to sit at home, and as soon as his phone rings with the first offer he’s going to take it? No, that’s not how it works.

Let me take you back to October of 2004. The Mets were coming off a 71 win season. The team was 4 years removed from a World Series appearance and the fan base was once again frustrated from watching an underperforming team. However, Jose Reyes and David Wright were waiting in the wings to become the next young superstars of this city. And there were some big fish to catch in the market.

The first significant move the Mets made was on December 5th when they traded for Paul Lo Duca. They didn’t sign a big free agent until December 16th…Pedro Martinez. They didn’t sign Carlos Beltran until January 11th. They almost signed Carlos Delgado until he signed with Florida on January 26th. Would you have accused the Mets of sitting on their hands that offseason when it was all said and done? Nope. They played the off-season game the way it’s meant to be played. And the pieces didn’t start to fall into place until December.

Listen, I’m not going to sit here and say I expect the Mets to pull in hall of famers out of this class. And I know it’s a lot to ask to be patient with this regime. But it’s November 21st, take a Xanax and chill out and let the off-season run its course.


My name is Tom. If you like this article let me know on Twitter @GetsThruBuckner.

November 20, 2013

Honest Thoughts On Ryan Braun

This afternoon on MetsBlog, Matt Cerrone cited anonymous sources who indicated that the Milwaukee Brewers would be more likely to trade Ryan Braun instead of Norichika Aoki in a deal that includes Ike Davis.  That's not to infer that anything is imminent or even likely, but the two teams have talked about Davis, and New York's largest hole looms in its outfield.

The notion of bringing Braun to Queens is almost hard to wrap our heads around, but I have to admit that on papers it makes sense.  First and foremost, Braun's previous transgressions have seen him fall out favor with the Brewers and their fans, so much so that Cerrone's sources speculate that the Brewers may be willing to pay a portion of the $113MM remaining on his contract.  Furthermore, Milwaukee is tying to find a place to plug in outfield prospect Khris Davis, who excelled in limited duty last season.  Finally, the Mets have what the Brewers have reportedly been seeking, a power hitting first baseman.

I'm not about to speculate on whether or not something could eventually come to fruition, because there would undoubtedly be other team's interested.  I'm not sure the Mets have/are willing to part with the prospect's necessary to make this deal happen.  That said, would Braun be a fit in Flushing?

I don't like Ryan Braun, the person.  I have never and will never criticize the decision of a major league player to take PEDs.  They have so much to gain that it is 100% worth the risk.  I do however take exception to players who are caught red-handed, as Braun was in 2011, who lie through their teeth and manipulate the system to get away with it.  There is a large contingent of baseball fans who will never forgive him for that.

With that said... I've also gone on record multiple times saying that I don't care much what players on my team do off the field (minus violence), as long as they're producing on it.  I want to see the Mets win.  The best players are not always the best people.  Its very hard to turn away from Braun's career stat line of .312/36/117 because he is a liar.  Further more, he is due to average only $16MM per season through the end of his deal (before the Brewers include money in the deal).  Finally, having just turned 30, Braun remains in his prime for several more seasons.

Again, I'm interested in acquiring baseball players, not altar boys.  I fully understand why some may be against it, but I don't fall into that group.  If the opportunity presents itself, Braun is exactly the type of power hitting corner outfielder that Sandy Alderson covets.  The only question remains what will it take?  Montero..Nimmo..more?  There are very few opportunities to claim a perennial all star in his prime.  If he becomes available, the Mets shouldn't even hesitate.

Like what you read?  Follow me on Twitter at @RobPatterson83.

Feinsand, NYDN: Cano Is Jordan

Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News has an interesting article about the angle Jay-Z & Co. are using to sell Robinson Cano to teams: that he is the next Michael Jordan.

From the piece:

Cano’s agents have been trying to market the All-Star second baseman as a franchise player both on and off the field, selling the 31-year-old as a difference-maker for television ratings and at the box office.
“They’re selling him as Michael Jordan, not as a baseball player,” said a major-league official familiar with Cano’s situation. “As a guy that’s going to be a big rock star and bring all these fans in. Last year, that wasn’t the case.” 
Photo by Michael Baron
I suppose that's one way to look at it. Obviously, baseball will never really have a Michael Jordan. One player can't take over the game the same way and the only ones who can, the pitchers, only play every fifth day. It's an odd comparison.

What it does feed into, however, is the idea that the meeting with Sandy and the Wilpons the other day was much more geared to Jay-Z and his associates honing their unique pitch in front of Major League executives. You may not get too many chances in front of the clubs who are willing to pay Cano the money he is looking for, so better to work on the presentation in front of the Mets brass and other willing participants.


To Talk, Or Not To Talk?

That should be the question but as it pertains to the Mets it's becoming a joke.

Alderson and co. have talked about quite a few free agents so far this off season including Drew, Peralta, Arroyo, Granderson, Choo, and the list goes on. The problem is they haven't actually spoken to any of them directly. Well, unless you count Robinson Cano.

So what gives? I think fans are scratching their heads for a few different reasons. One being, the first group of names seems to fit what the franchise is looking for from a need and budget perspective. The second being Cano who is seeking a ludicrous contract and Sandy said they already have their $100 million dollar player in the fold in Captain Wright. 

The last thing that probably has a lot of you baffled is why no contact with those that could be had? Do they think that these players are going reach out to the Mets who have had losing seasons year after year? Each of the players they have shown interest in reached the playoffs this season. There has to be a lot of selling involved in getting these players to want to be there and while money is a big factor winning is one also.

Pick up the phone Sandy, send a smoke signal, something...
Follow me @jwil25

Mets Payroll To Exceed $87 Million In 2014, Or Nah?

Yesterday, ESPN-NY quoted Sandy Alderson as saying he expects the Mets' 2014 payroll to exceed $87MM, the total from last season. This is getting tough.. For years we've heard this would be the season when things would change. In recent weeks the front office has made every effort to lower expectations. And now, this?

One encouraging note is that this is the first time Alderson has said they will be forced to bid market prices, despite the fact that they feel free agent prices are high. This is good news, assuming he means it, because many fans, myself included, have been insistent on this very issue since the GM meetings. Teams will always overpay for the best talent and the Mets will no different. In fact, it could be worse for the Mets considering their recent lack of success. 

The one thing Alderson most accurately acknowledged was that he should not predict anything specific, stating "The worst thing I can do is predict that something will happen and nothing does happen." If you have your ear to the ground, you would know that the fan base has reacted very strongly every time any free agent has signed elsewhere. Any failure to follow through is an instant reason for uproar. 

I would be cautious in accepting this $87 million or more number as gospel. It comes with the built in excuse of "we'll we tried to spend money, but we were outbid or player X simply wanted to play elsewhere."  That said I hope they are genuine and that it is done responsibly. For now we will just have to see how the winter unfolds.  

November 19, 2013

Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself: My Name Is JJJOOOOOEEEE

Hello there!

Let me start off by saying, I am a HUGE Mets fan!  Like any Met fan, I have my opinions, likes and dislikes.  We are all judgmental of Alderson and the Wilpons, and we ALL have hope every year that the Mets will pull the trigger on a big deal, miraculously have a winning season, and all will be right in Queens.

But the harsh reality seems to be that our cross town rivals always have THAT luck.

I'm a Met watcher and a Mike Francesa listener. My other loves are the Devils, Nets (now that they have moved to Brooklyn) and the New York Football Giants.  I live and work in (upstate) New York.  I use parentheses on upstate because everyone seems to have a different view on what the word means.  My view is an hour north of NYC.

I used the subject line to this article not only to Introduce myself, but to also transition into what I believe is the biggest fluke in baseball thus far this off season... Cano and the METS..

From what I gather, Jay-Z called this meeting.  My belief is that this meeting was called for Jay-Z to introduce the Mets to his company.  He is opening himself up to future business transactions with the organization, which makes complete sense now that Scott Boras has pretty much degraded the Mets every chance he gets.  Do I think Cano was discussed?  Sure, but not to the extent that crazed fans want to believe.  This was the right thing to do, open up talks between Jay-Z and the Mets, for a long future of deals.  I'm totally down with that.  I don't want Cano on my team.  His lack of hustle and his inability to lead is not worth 300 million dollars.  Sorry.

In closing, I'm excited to contribute to this blog as much as I can.  If you wish to leave a comment, I encourage you to do so. Also, follow me on Twitter, @JJOOEEY

Thank you.



What (We Think) Was Discussed At The Wilpon/Jay-Z Dinner

As some of you may have heard, Sandy Alderson, Jeff Wilpon, and John Ricco met privately at a dinner with Jay-Z, who represents free agent Robinson Cano. Now, while we all effectively know the true meaning of the meeting, certainly they began with some small talk, dinner details, etc. It is that void, post-handshake but pre-business, where we will be speculating on the potential conversation.

1. Wilpon: "Mr. Z, before we begin our dinner, let me just say... Huge fan. Love your work. The Reasonable Doubt album, the rugged description of the hard knock life... it spoke to me. I lived that too."

2. Alderson: "Thanks for meeting with us. Separate checks? Separate checks. Waiter, I'll have a tap water and a side salad."

3. Jay-Z: "I must say, once I heard Sandy say no spending restrictions, I booked this dinner."

4. Wilpon: "So, to be clear, you aren't the guy married to Kim Kardashian?"

5. Alderson: "Nobody minds if I also order something to go, right? Right?"

6. Jay-Z: "Guys, stop asking for more bread. I'm paying. Just order something."

Hawkins Heads West

Photo Courtesy of @Lets86It
Soon to be forty-one year old middle reliever and impromptu late season closer Latroy Hawkins signed with the Colorado Rockies yesterday in a move that sent a surprising ripple through the Mets fan base.  Hawkins deal nets him $2.25MM for 2014 where he'll assume the Rockies closer's role.  There is also a team option for 2015 that could see him remain with the club if things go well.  This is his second go around in Colorado where he was part of the 2007 team that made it to the World Series.

Fans took to the airwaves to condemn the Mets for not signing Hawkins, who by all accounts far exceeded expectations last year.  Reportedly the Mets had made Hawkins an offer, but it was well below that of the Rockies.

Look, I realize Hawkins was pretty good last season and I understand the need to have a veteran in the bullpen, but I am not about to hold the Mets hostage over their decision not to overpay for a reliever who will be forty-one next season.  Hawkins arm has been ageless, but with nineteen seasons under his belt he too will turn into a pumpkin one day.

Ultimately I think the uproar for Mets fans has more to do with the fact that they haven't signed anyone, than actually losing Hawkins.  Bullpens generally get overhauls on an annual basis and the Mets haven't been any different in recent years.  The Mets will need to bring in some arms to compete for spots this spring, but with youngsters like Vic Black and eventually Jack Leathersich, the Mets pen isn't in as bad a shape as everyone would like to think it is.

Good luck to Hawkins, as this deal was a no brainer for him.  I hope he does well and blows only a handful of saves this season..preferably against the Mets.

Mets In On Cano?

I know what you're thinking.. This post is just an effort to generate Internet traffic. The Mets can't afford an ice cream cone, let alone the most expensive free agent on the market. Except the Mets actually did meet with Cano's representatives last night, to include Jay-Z.

That said, I'm just as certain as ever that Cano won't wear blue and orange any time soon. The team has stated they have little interest in a $100MM player, and Cano will command much more than that. If that isn't enough to spook the team's front office, a deal of at least seven years in length almost certainly will. 

The meeting is a head scratcher for me. While there is no harm on kicking the tires, there just doesn't seem to be any realistic possibility of a deal. I hope we get some more information, but more importantly I hope the teams fans don't let there imaginations run wild, only to be crushed when nothing comes to fruition. 

November 18, 2013

Can Mets Fans File A Grievance?

With the news that baby faced backup shortstop (at best), Ruben Tejada, may file a grievance over the Mets delaying his MLB service time, it got me thinking..How can we do something similar?

Personally, I couldn't care less when Tejada gets his walking papers. I suspect he'll be traded, cut or worse long before the end of the 2016 season, but Tejada seemingly wants to make sure he can get as far away from this sinking ship as quickly as possible. Eventually, he will..but we're not so lucky. 

Perhaps Mets fans can file a grievance that the Wilpon's are delaying their inevitable departure.  Or maybe we can file to have the team reduced to a minor league role since it would representative of the roster in recent years.  How about turning Citi Field into a chop shop when they renovate Willets Point.. You know, to keep up appearances. 

You get my point. Tejada may be right, but what does it matter. He's going to use the resources available to influence his situation. We have no such luck. The team sucks, ownership has just enough money to hold on for dear life and we'll be forced to ride out the storm..grievance or not.


ICYMI: Mets Can't Afford Anyone

I don't mean to start your Monday morning off with bad news, but its becoming more and more likely that the Mets can't afford free agents this winter.  Over the weekend, Mike Puma of the New York Post reported that the Mets fear they will be priced out of mid-market free agents such as Curtis Granderson and Nelson Cruz.

Have no fear though, its because Marlon Byrd's shiny new contract with the Phillies worth as much as 3yr/$24MM, has sent the market soaring, not because the Wilpon's have no money.  For a third consecutive offseason, the Mets front office doesn't want to pay market price for anything resembling a competent major leaguer.  Remember..the free agent prices are "scarey", said Jeff Wilpon last week.

Despite Sandy Alderson reassuring fans that the organization plans to spend more on the free agent market than it did last winter (a whopping $5MM), I remain increasingly skeptical.  Look, I can sympathize with the Mets not wanting to blow half the budget on one player, but something has to give here.  Fans want to see players they can get excited about, not another cheap crop of low risk/high reward has beens.

The Mets like to say they don't want to commit too much to a player with obvious flaws.  That's a swell way of thinking until you realized that the players who aren't flawed are the ones who will make in excess of $100MM this winter.  There are no perfect players when your trolling the same shallow end of the free agent pool where Sandy has set anchor in previous offseasons.  The Mets aren't entrenched there because they want to be, they are being priced out of the market because they can't afford them.  Its that easy...

November 15, 2013

From Deadspin: If Baseball Played A 16 Game Season

From Deadspin

In a Deadspin article I found more interesting than I should have, Reuben Fischer-Baum took a look at how the MLB landscape would change given a once-a-week, 16 week schedule, like the NFL. He took the first 16 games of each team's season to come up with the above playoff scenario for 2013.

There is some other interesting stuff in there as well, it's a good read. Link here.

November 14, 2013

The Mets Have A Wilpon Problem

Photo Courtesy of The7Line
Seventy-five.  That's how many wins the New York Mets have averaged over the past five years.  If you're not keeping score at home, that's fourteen games below .500.. on average.  Locked into an ever present battle for fourth place in the division, the Mets are one of only seven teams to not reach the playoffs since 2006.  In the meantime, a new stadium, a sports network and a massive financial scandal have all combined to retard the franchise's progress forward.

So what comes next?  A methodical reduction in payroll.  First Beltran, then Luis Castillo and good ol' Ollie Perez.  Next up was Jose Reyes, Jason Bay and finally, Johan Santana.  A big market team which once boasted a payroll in excess of $135MM, has been reduced to a mid-market excuse for a baseball franchise struggling to find the pennies necessary to field a $90MM roster.

The one constant over this half decade long struggle?  The Wilpons.  Principle owner Fred Wilpon and his silver spooned idiot son, Jeff, have presided over and ridden a once proud franchise directly into the ground.  Gone are the big contracts, the playoff runs and for the most part..the ticket sales.  The rowdy stands of Shea Stadium have morphed into the sparsely populated bleachers of Citi Field, and I'm not even sure the organization has noticed.

From claims that the franchise is snake bitten to unfathomable statements that money is no obstacle, the Wilpons remain out of touch with the reality of their situation.  Yesterday provided the most recent example of the Wilpons' complete disregard for the fan base they depend on.  In the early weeks of an offseason of renaissance, with fans clamoring for the first of what they hope will be many acquisitions this winter, ownership dunce Jeff Wilpon took to the mic to scream from the rafters than the Mets were poised to do something big.  With several things in the works..an announcement was on the horizon.  What could go wrong?

Fast forward two hours and Sandy Alderson is left the pick up the pieces.  Not only was no acquisition imminent,  but the big news of the day would be next season's summer concert series.  Fans were left in disbelief.  How could one of the men at the forefront of this organization have no clue that his words would incite the masses?  Five lost years..with a shred of hope mixed in with the mirage at the end of the tunnel, and ownership just toys with its line of income.

I can't begin to predict what will happen between now and spring training, but it remains safe to say that the organization's ultimate leadership, its owners, are the root of the problem.  I once feared the biggest dilemma we might face would be their bankroll, or lack thereof.  However, now it seems their inability to grasp the reality of their situation could be our downfall.  Jeff Wilpon's words have once again kicked Mets fans in their proverbial teeth.  Now its time to put whatever money he might have left where his mouth is..assuming there is any room left once he removes his foot.

Like what you've read?  Follow me on Twitter at @RobPatterson83.

Mets Meme Contest!

We here at Effing Mets are nothing if not fun. So much fun. To this end, we have decided to hold a Mets Meme Contest. Since this site is on the internet, I will assume most of you are aware of what a meme is. If you are not, please click here. Or here. Or just stay on the internet a few more minutes, and a meme will find it's way to you.

Anyway, the rules:

1. Mild profanity will be accepted.

2. You can submit multiple memes, as many times as you want.

That's about it. Probably didn't need to number them. Submissions can be tweeted to myself, @kmflemming, or Rob, @RobPatterson83. They can also be emailed, kmflemming@hotmail.com, with Mets Meme in the subject line. Now that you have my email, please don't go all Dolphins fans on me.

That's it, hope to see some good ones. The winner will get instant internet fame and 100,000 internet points. Shoot for humorous and timely, and let us know if you need a site to make the memes at. We can refer you to some free ones.


Boras: Mets Are Like NASA Without Astronauts

Scott Boras, famous douchey agent for megastars, yesterday finally said something most Mets fans can agree with.

“The Mets are like NASA,” Boras said. “They have big rockets, a lot of platforms and very few astronauts. Astronauts are hard to find. They’ve got one guy with the ‘Wright’ stuff, that’s for sure. And they’ve got a lot of ‘Arm’-strongs, too. But they’re certainly a club that I’m sure that’s in pursuit of a higher level of talent.
Kristie Ackert, NYDN
It was an odd metaphor, to be sure. I'm not really sure it makes any sense, but it's definitely a dig about a lack of talent.  Turns out, not the first time he's insulted the franchise.

When they are not providing fans with the highest quality of play, and they take an attitude of 'we're going to take on a development role,' knowing that the TV contracts, the market size and such allow them revenues that far exceed many of the clubs that have to pursue those development policies, that impacts the game. The major franchises who are getting the majority of revenues should provide a product, or an attempt at a product, that has the near-highest payrolls commensurate with the markets they are in. 
Stephen Borelli, USA TODAY Mar 6, 2012
Oh, okay. That was just one isolated incident in 2012.

“They have a new ballpark, they have a great network,” Boras said. “The business plan and model is one of the best in baseball. They’ve got a huge market. If the franchise was for sale in totality, there would be many, many people lining up. It has everything an owner would want to be successful...Normally they’re in the steak section,” Boras said, “and I find them in the fruits and nuts category.”
Tyler Kepner, NYT Dec. 2011 
“What they’ve done is the equivalent of Campbell’s soup taking one of their cans, kicking it down the aisle, tarnishing the can, and then trying to sell you the soup…Why is management doing that? There seems to be a serious problem there.” -on Beltran
David Lennon Sept. 2010 
Safe to say there isn't a great working relationship here, but at times it's hard to tell him he's wrong. He just has a bigger platform to say what we've all been thinking.

November 13, 2013

The Mets Might Have But Then Didn't Get Close To A Deal

...with whomever, I guess. Headline would have been longer but I ran out of room.

This morning, Jeff Wilpon spoke to reporters, intimating that the Mets were close to making an announcement, presumably about acquiring a player.

"...It would be great to do that. Go talk to the agent that’s representing the player. Go talk to the other GM that’s representing the trade stuff. And if it works out, great, it works out. We’re open for business. 
“They’re trying to do something,” Wilpon said of his front office. “There’s, I’d say, 3, 4, 5 different balls in the air. And we’ll see which one lands first.”

Riveting. People were on the edge of their tweets waiting for a press conference announcing something. Anything, really. Re-signing LaTroy Hawkins, sending Atchison to the Smithsonian, almost anything would have made fans feel like progress was being made on some front.

Then, this lands.

Safe to say that strange facial expression was not a knowing wink.

So there you have it, the owner thinks they're about to sign someone, and the GM seems pretty surprised by this development. Clearly, Sandy and Jeff are not on the same page.

But the Mets organization is nothing if not sensitive to the fan base. So, to sate our thirst for news, they announced... 2014 promotions! And everyone was appeased! Save the angry mob frothing on Twitter, of course.

Listen, it's not new. Jeff Wilpon is an idiot. Same old song. But book your Huey Lewis & The News tickets now for Citi Field.

No Rebuild In Philly

There is something going on down the turnpike in Philadelphia and its probably not what you were expecting.  Despite their first sub-.500 finish since 2002 and first finish lower than third since 2000, the Phillies organization is still going for it.  Their midday signing of the revitalized Marlon Byrd may have actually been trumped by the late night rumors that they are in talks to acquire Jose Bautista from the Toronto Blue Jays.

While I'd like to poke fun at the franchise and their ill mannered fan base, the Phillies have little to lose.  Over the next two seasons, the Phillies have no less than $170MM tied up in the contracts of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.  That is a ton of money to spend on a team with no conceivable chance of making a World Series run, so why not attempt to reload where you can.

Eventually Mets fans will get to see the franchise in Philadelphia fade away for a period of time because these contracts will catch up to Ruben Amaro Jr., but it doesn't look like that day has arrived just yet.  With the Mets looking to upgrade their outfield offense this winter, it would certainly be frustrating to see the Phillies do the same while we sit idle.  Time will tell, as the Mets are yet to strike, but the Phillies are certainly off and running.

Granderson's Price Is Rising

Yesterday's news that the Philadelphia Phillies signed former Met, Marlon Byrd, to a deal that could be worth as much as 3yrs/$24MM is both good news and bad news for Mets fans. The good news is that the Mets won't have the opportunity to see if lightning can strike twice, bringing the 35 year old back to Queens, coming off a career year poised to make more than ten times his 2013 salary. However, the bad news is that the Phillies just sent free agent prices soaring!

Marlon Byrd had a pretty good year in 2013, but he doesn't have the history to back up his offensive production like the Mets reported top outfield target, Curtis Granderson. If a 35 year old Byrd can earn $24MM over the next three seasons, you best believe Granderson will fetch more than the early estimates of $40MM to $45MM over a similar time frame predicted by baseball insiders. You can also kiss the notion of just a three year deal goodbye as well. 

With reports of fellow early thirties free agent outfielder, Nelson Cruz, seeking 5yrs/$75MM (a number he won't get), Granderson's price may reach an iffy area for the Mets front office.  Will they make a four or even five year commitment to an aging power hitter? Can they commit $15MM annuallyto the cause for that long?  They'll say he's over valued (which may be true), but his value will be determined by the market...a market that too a definite swing upwards yesterday.

November 12, 2013

Low Expectations May Be Sandy's Best Friend

There is one big upside to the fact that fans have terribly low expectations of the Mets and Sandy Alderson this offseason: he may just be able to surpass them.

Some of the bigger names are already out of the market, some before they were ever even really in it. The respective teams of Carlos Gonzalez and Giancarlo Stanton have intimated that they intend to keep them on their rosters, despite the clamor for trades. Jose Abreu was signed by the White Sox for a number the Mets would never have agreed to. So, as we progress into this Hot Stove season just a couple weeks, the bar has already lowered a bit.

That may very well prove to be the best case scenario in regards to the team's ability to look back in a few months and declare this winter a success. This free agent class is regarded as not the best to begin with, so making some marked, even if not incredible, improvements will give the franchise the footing it needs to sell the fan base on a brighter future. The Granderson signing would be a nice step, but the team can't stop there. There are some other names being floated around that would not only upgrade the team, but have a legitimate shot at being signed. Jhonny Peralta is among them. Yes, it would not be a big acquisition, but he's an upgrade the team can make. Throw in a few bullpen arms and a serious upgrade at first base, and you may have propelled this team over .500 and into a Wild Card race.

I'm not saying it's enough, or that I'd be happy with it. I'm just saying that with fans almost assuming the team will make no big changes or acquisitions, it might be enough for this winter.

All Signs Point To Curtis Granderson

The first day of the GM Meetings in Orlando, FL really ramped up the rumor mill.  The Mets likely don't see themselves in the running for free agents Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo.  Clearly the best outfielders on the market, they are simply at a level the Mets aren't yet prepared to dabble in.  Therefore they will be forced to lower their sights.

As was reported by SNY's Rich Coutino, the Mets have genuine interest in former Yankees slugger Curtis Granderson, who turned down his qualifying offer yesterday.  As a result, the Mets would have the part with their second round pick in the 2014 MLB Entry Draft.  Additionally the Mets may have to part with roughly $45 over the next three years.  A significant commitment for a man who will be 33 when the season begins?  Sure, but as I wrote both HERE and HERE, he is the best bargain to be had.

Granderson's age obviously represents a risk.  He will almost certainly enter his decline during his next contract, but hit 40+ home runs as recently as 2012.  Those of us who've questioned whether or not that that power would translate from Yankee Stadium to Citi Field might be able to breath a sigh of relief, as it turns out 35 of his 43 homes runs in 2012 would have left the yard in Citi as well.  Additionally the Mets should be concerned with his strike out rate and a batting average that has only risen above .250 once since 2008.  Despite those facts, Granderson has posted a combined WAR of 18.3 over that same time frame and would be without question the best power hitter in the line up.

Worth noting is that Granderson appears interested in joining the Mets as well.  The Mets have been in contact with his agent and have been less than shy about their interest.  He represents the best free agent outfielder available who can be had on a short term, somewhat thrifty contract.  While I don't want to say I expect him to be a Met by winters end, I do expect him to be the team's top target going forward.

November 11, 2013

Parnell On The Mend

Mets closer Bobby Parnell received some good news from team doctors last week, but remains at least a month away from resuming baseball activities. You'll recall that Parnell last appeared in a game on July 30th when he notched his 22nd save of the season. He soon landed on the disabled list with neck stiffness and eventually had surgery to address a herniated disk, which ended is season.

To date the expectation is that Parnell will be ready to start spring training, although it was reported that he has lost significant weight since his surgery. Such a weight loss could have have an effect on his stamina to start the season.  For now however, take this as a step in the right direction as Parnell has without question become the team's closer going forward.

The Mets 2012 Veterans Tribute

I couldn't find a video from this year, but I remembered this one and thought it was pretty well done. Happy Veterans Day, thanks to those who've served.

Mets Military Mondays

The official Mets twitter account tweeted this picture this morning of the jerseys the team will wear on five separate "Military Mondays" in honor of those who have and are currently serving in the nation's armed forces.
On these days (dates which have not been announced) service members and up to three guests can receive complimentary tickets. The team will also visit VA hospitals before each game. A nice gesture all around. 

With that said, we here at Effing Mets salute those serving currently and those who have done so in the past. Happy Veterans Day!

GM Meetings: Expect Rumors, Not Action

This morning marks the start of the GM Meetings in Orlando, FL. The general managers and owners from each organization come together in November each winter to talk baseball. What is supposed to spur talk about in-game issues suck as instant replay and collisions at the plate, will also lead to a variety of rumors about trade talks and free agent acquisitions. Expect just that though, a lot of talk. 

The Mets are expected to, at the very least, speak with player agent Scott Boras about the likes of Shin-Soo Choo and Stephen Drew. While I believe the Mets to be honestly interested in Choo, his price has nearly doubled (now asking for 7/$126MM) from the initial estimates we heard during the season. As a result, it's been widely reported the Mets will go elsewhere. I expect the same with Drew, who has a pretty comparable option in Jhonny Peralta, who will come at a discount. 

The Mets will also assess the trade value of their available options, such as Ike Davis, Rafael Montero and others. Whether these guys get traded by themselves or become part of a package, there will be no better time than this week to get the ball rolling, as every team will be present. 

It can be a frustrating week for fans who are desperate for the first proverbial domino to fall. While its not unheard of for a substantial deal to be reached this week, it remains unlikely. The Mets have a lot to accomplish this winter. That will require them to stretch their resources as far as possible. That process will begin this week in Orlando..with a whole lot of talking.