From Tom Seaver to Dwight Gooden to David Wright, A look at the New York Mets past, present and future.
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The New York Mets open a series with defending NL East Champion Washington Nationals at Citi Field this weekend with serious injury issues. 1B Lucas Duda(Elbow) and INF Wilmer Flores(Knee Infection) have been placed on the 10 day DL while OF Yoenis Cespedes(Hamstring) and C Travis d’Arnaud(wrist) are also not in the lineup. The team has recalled INF T.J. Rivera and P Sean Gilmartin to offset the bodies, Matt Harvey has been moved up to pitch tonight with Jacob de Grom battling a stiff neck. Meanwhile, 3B-captain David Wright(Back,Shoulder) has been placed on 60 day DL but continues to try and comeback. The Mets should be Ok short term at 1B with Jay Bruce and other options allowing Michael Conforto to join Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson to form a good balanced outfield with defense and hitting. Cespedes is key, if he is lost for ANY extended time(does not look like he will) this team is cooked.
The New York Mets lost 3 of 4 this week in Miami but I am not at all concerned. You ever hear the saying its ok to lose the battle not the war? Thats where the Mets are. Manager Terry Collins and GM Sandy Alderson are faced with this issue: they have 4 high quality starting pitchers coming back from surgery in Matt Harvey, Jacob de Grom, Steven Matz(On DL now) and Zack Wheeler. The staff ace Noah Syndergaard pitched a career high in innings last season and battled bone spurs. A 6th young arm in Seth Lugo is battling a potentially season ending elbow injury. The team is trying to manage these arms and maintain a good record. That is hard to do on a daily basis and Collins faces constant 2nd guessing and dilemmas nightly on when and where to pull starters. This is about getting these arms to the finish line.
Adding to issues with pitch counts of the starters is the over use of the bullpen in particular the high end guys. Addison Reed, Fernando Salas, Hansel Robles and Jerry Blevins are in games almost nightly. This will change when closer Jeurys Familia returns later this week and allows Terry to mix and match more. And as the season nears the end of month one, starters can pitch more, the hitters will pick it up and start to produce like their baseball card says they should. The Mets play a lot of close games and this taxes the entire pitching staff. The Mets are homer reliant and when the weather warms up, the hope is so will those bats. #LGM
The 2017 New York Mets are showing to be what you thought they are : built on power- both offensively and defensively- the team relies on power arms and power bats. Yoenis Cespedes 3 homer game Tuesday night highlighted the teams opening 10 days , that has seen the big 3 rotation members- Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey- all pitch great. Offensively, 4 team wide keys- RF Jay Bruce, C Travis D’Arnaud, OF Michael Conforto and 1B Lucas Duda- all look good and the bullpen ,minus all star Jeurys Familia, has maintained all their leads and save opportunities with Fernando Salas and Addison Reed flourishing late in the 8th and 9th innings. Both have closed in them major leagues for other clubs, quality depth, moves by Mets management led by GM Sandy Alderson.
Mets Notes: Captain and 3B David Wright(Shoulder) has begun throwing but at best, he could return sometime late May or early June. Long process for #5. Get well, David…. Meanwhile, Cf Juan Lagares(Left Oblique) could rejoin the team as soon as Thursday and has looked good in his minor league rehab assignment… Jose Reyes is off to a 2 for 33 start (.061) and has been moved down the order. Keep an eye on veteran major league 3B , say Todd Frazier from the Chicago White Sox, as a rental option. This team is good enough to win the World Series and cannot have ANY position be a sink hole.
The New York Mets rode Noah Syndergaard and one big inning to a 6-0 win in Monday’s opener vs the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Lucas Duda had the decisive blow with a 3 run double and Thor looked great thru 6. #34 developed a blister on a finger and will move back a day in the rotation yet should be ok. On the medical front, Steven Matz has been diagnosed with strained flexor tendon and will resume throwing in late April. Do not count on seeing the injury prone starter till June. Meanwhile, Seth Lugo got the bill for his great performance for the Puerto Rican team in the World Baseball Classic and it is not good. He has seen two doctors and has a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow. Lugo will rest for 2 weeks and be reevaluated then. Suddenly, the Mets pitching depth is an issue. This team needs …Matt… GULP…Harvey to pitch well. #HUGE Not a fan but he is on the team. #LGM
I picked the Mets to win the World Series last year and through a malady of injuries that would make Evel Knievel proud, this team some how made the playoffs. This is a better, deeper, healthier team with a good blend of vets, kids, arms and bats. Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson work as well together as any manager-GM tandem in the sport and The Mets are in position to be good for years to come. NY also has trade capital, loads of position players coming and a rabid fan base who is packing Citi Field. The time to win is now and this team will win the World Series in 2017.
98 wins.. NL EAST, NATIONAL LEAGUE AND WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS
My surprise players? Wilmer Flores and… Jay Bruce. #Watch
AL Playoff Teams:
Toronto, Cleveland, Seattle(Division Champions)
Texas,Houston(Wild Card teams)
NL Playoff Teams:
Mets, Cubs, Dodgers(Div Champs)
St Louis, San Francisco(WC teams)
MVPs: Carlos Correa(AL), Nolan Arenado(NL)
CY Youngs: Danny Duffy(AL), Noah Syndergaard NL)
Flop Teams: Boston Red Sox(AL), Washington(NL)
Surprise Teams: Colorado, KC Royals
World Series: Mets over Houston
1. Jose Reyes-3B
2. Asdrubal Cabrera-SS
3. Yoenis Cespedes-LF
4. Curtis Granderson-CF
5. Neil Walker-2B
6. Jay Bruce-RF
7. Lucas Duda-1B
8. Travis d’Arnaud-C
Noah Syndergaard pitching
DL: David Wright, Jaun Lagares, Seth Lugo, Steven Matz and Brandon Nimmo
|1. Jose Reyes||9. Noah Syndergaard||14. Wilmer Flores||19. Addison Reed|
|2. Asdrubal Cabrera||10. Jacob deGrom||15. Michael Conforto||20. Hansel Robles|
|3. Yoenis Cespedes||11. Matt Harvey||16. Rene Rivera||21. Jerry Blevins|
|4. Curtis Granderson||12. Robert Gsellman||17. T.J. Rivera||22. Josh Smoker|
|5. Neil Walker||13. Zack Wheeler||18. Ty Kelly||23. Josh Edgin|
|6. Lucas Duda||24. Fernando Salas|
|7. Jay Bruce||25. Rafael Montero|
|8. Travis d’Arnaud|
The New York Mets are loaded with arms and have a potentially great team but here is something crazy to think about for a team that could and should win 90 plus games and is a serious World Series contender: more than 50% of the everyday lineup could be different in 2018. OFs Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce as well as SS Asdrubal Cabrera and 2B Neil Walker are without contracts beyond 2017. Add to that the health issues with 3B David Wright and the critical bend or break campaigns for 1B Lucas Duda and C Travis d’Arnaud and this Mets could be a whole new team in April 2018. The good news? New York has a pipeline of touted prospects led by SS Ahmed Rosario and 1B Dominic Smith close to major league ready heading into 2017.
Zach Wheeler has made the Mets rotation as the 4th starter, per GM Sandy Alderson. The talented righty has missed two full seasons with Tommy John surgery and will be on an innings limit of around 125. Seth Lugo and a surging Rafael Montero will compete for the final pitching roster spot. Lefty Steven Matz(Elbow) has been shut down for 3 weeks Position players wise with Juan Lagares(Oblique) likely to open season on DL, both Michael Conforto and Ty Kelly have been told they have made the big club. Meanwhile, closer Jeurys Familia will workout and pitch at the Mets academy in the Dominican Republic as he serves his 15 game domestic violence suspension.
New York Mets all star closer Jeurys Familia has been suspended for the 1st 15 games of the season as result of an offseason domestic dispute. Elite set up man Addison Reed will get most of the save opportunities with maybe Hansel Robles and Fernando Salas getting an odd shot. Meanwhile, Steven Matz(elbow) will not open the season with the big club and the team is hopeful that OF Juan Lagares(Oblique) can after his MRI came back clean. Skipper Terry Collins confirmed that Jacob de Grom and Matt Harvey will follow Noah Syndergaard in the opening series vs the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.
Mets LHP Steven Matz has irritation in his surgically repaired left elbow and will skip a start. The often injured southpaw has battled shoulder and other assorted maladies since 2010. #32 is not concerned and will resume throwing Monday. But even Mets GM Sandy Alderson mentioned Matz’ struggles staying healthy with this latest episode. Meanwhile, Robert Gsellman will join Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom in the rotation with either Seth Lugo or Zack Wheeler being the 5th starter. Position players wise, Juan Lagares(oblique) came up lame late in the week and red hot Michael Conforto(.346 with 3 spring homeruns) might have found his opportunity to break with the big club. As my Media Diva friend @KHoekstra famously says “It’s always something” … #LGM
The New York Mets know they have talented arms and the biggest issue is keeping them all healthy. Good news so far in camp as Msrs Syndergaard, de Grom and Matz look great but add Matt Harvey and Rafael “Remember Me” Montero to the list of weapons. #33 has gone 0-4 in the spring but is throwing 96 in the 5th inning and sounds good which is a big deal physically and mentally. Montero has gone back to attacking hitters and getting ahead in the count. He gets in trouble when he nibbles and Mets management-coaches have seemed to instill this “you are good, trust your stuff” approach. Zack Wheeler also looks strong as he continues to comeback from a 2 year Tommy John surgery recovery period. Robert Gsellman looks to be the 5th starter as the season opens and has been really impressive in camp. Meanwhile, Seth Lugo has emerged as the ace of the Puerto Rico squad in the World Baseball Classic. You can never have enough pitching and the Mets have it up and down, East and West, North and South and Left and right. #LGM
The New York Mets have the most players participating in the 2017 World Baseball Classic for many reasons: They have a talented team but also one that is young, diverse and multicultural. And the numbers could and would be higher if 3B David Wright was healthy. The point is the Mets are good, have both arms and bats and players from all parts of the Earth. This translates to the current 25 roster as we head towards April. Even with Wright hurt, Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores can play Third and the team is not lost. OF Michael Conforto is hitting missiles everywhere at a .580 clip yet could open the season in Triple A Las Vegas due to a lack of defined role, playing time. The depth extends to the pitching staff where Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman can spot start, relieve or end up in the minors. Meanwhile, former star P Zack Wheeler is throwing 94 MPH as he continues to come back from Tommy John Surgery in 2015. Memo: The 2017 New York Mets are good. #LGM
Mets Notes: Matt Harvey gave up a 3 run HR but K-ed 3 while allowing 4 hits and 4 earned runs over 1 and 2 thirds…Curtis Granderson is ok and playing after bruising his thumb…. Travis d’Arnaud looks great and healthy. Hitting ball hard with production(.500 clip) … Tim Tebow will make his spring training debut in games Wednesday and Friday….Mets do not expect a ruling on the status of closer Jeurys Familia regarding a potential suspension from his offseason domestic violence incident until after the conclusion of the World Baseball Classic, which ends on March 22nd. The Mets have approached the entire situation aware that they are more than likely going to be down an all star closer for maybe 2 months.
Both Noah Syndergaard and Jacob DeGrom looked great in spring debuts while 1B Lucas Duda responded well to treatment for his core soreness issues and is back playing well. The Mets organization from the big club to rookie ball emphasizes big boy ball- Home runs and doubles– off the concept of see your pitch, hit it hard — and when you see players on all levels adopting the Sandy Alderson- Rick Down line of thinking, its pretty cool. We all know Yoenis Cespedes, Neil Walker, Duda, Michael Conforto, etc but when you see a Phillip Evans, TJ Rivera or Gavin Cecchini execute that philosophy it is pretty cool. New York has recently got lots of credit for having such great young pitching but the position player development is also noticeably better and the team is close to having super position prospects SS Ahmed Rosario and 1B Dominic Smith major league ready. Been telling anyone who wants to listen this team is set up to be scary good for a long time. Well built, well constructed, balanced roster. #LGM
3rd baseman and captain David Wright(Neck Surgery) continues to make good progress and OF Michael Conforto looks primed for a big year as the New York Mets kicked off Spring Training. Wright is still only throwing in controlled 60 feet environments and on alternate days but #5 appears lose and in good spirits. He is DH-ing in games and might not be ready to open the season at the hot corner but he looks limber and the team has depth in the infield with either Jose Reyes or Wilmer Flores being able to man Third. OF Michael Conforto also has looked great and might make the organization find an everyday role for him with his hot bat. Meanwhile, Lucas Duda has back spasms and tightness in his hips, both core related issues. He received cortisone shots in both hip joints and will rest. Never a good sign to see your everyday 1B who is coming back from a season cut short by back issues battling in camp. But, again, the team has options with either Jay Bruce or Conforto as well as Flores being options at 1B. Manager Terry Collins mentioned in his media briefing Saturday even good team guy Neil Walker volunteered to take reps at First as well. Obviously both the Duda and Wright situations should be monitored closely and are keys to the success of the 2017 New York Mets.
Mets Notes: Collins has a plan for the inevitable domestic violence suspension for his closer Jeurys Familia: Addison Reed…No issues with the big 4 starting pitchers; Syndergaard, deGrom, Harvey and Matz. Zack Wheeler has innings cap(100 max area) and is dealing with minor issues but I think he will be a good option out of the pen and spot starts… Another team key C Travis d’Arnaud looks strong in camp and his whole focus needs to be on staying healthy. When he plays, he is good and so are the Mets.. Very business like, yet relax, we are good feel to camp. Good mix of veterans and kids but also young experience. Nice blend and Collins knows it. Beaming in camp. All smiles…. This team has few open spots and someone like Conforto might be forced to open the season in Las Vegas. Thats how deep and talented the Mets are.
Skipper Terry Collins confirmed what Mets fans have known for a year: Noah Syndergaard is his ace and will take the ball Monday April 3rd vs the Braves in New York. No word yet on the next 4 spots but you can bet Jacob de Grom will start game two with Matt Harvey in the 3 spot and Steven Matz 4. The competition for the 5th spot will work itself out but the feeling with this blogger is that Zack Wheeler, with his 100 innings cap, is best suited out of the pen and either 2nd year guys Robert Gsellman or Seth Lugo is in the rotation.
Several updates as the Mets opened camp this week in Port St Lucie, Florida. 1st, Captain-3B David Wright(Back-Neck) has fielded balls and will throw sometime this week. Both #5 and OF Jay Bruce will work out at 1B as a backup plan for Lucas Duda’s recovery from back surgery. Meanwhile, P Zack Wheeler(Tommy John Surgery) had some discomfort throwing and both the team medical staff and Pitching coach Dan Warthen believe this is scar tissue related and not serious. Reliever Erik Goeddel(Bone Spur surgery) is rehabbing and should be ready to open season. INF Neil Walker and the Mets have talked about a long term extension. Walker is under a 1 yr 17.2 million dollar deal via his offseason qualifying offer. Meanwhile, NY manager Terry Collins thinks he has 2 bullpen spots to fill via camp competition and the team could carry 3 lefties in the pen. He also thinks with the looming suspension for closer Jeurys Familia coming soon, expect any and all options to earn save opportunities including newly resigned veteran Jerry Blevins.
Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson’s patience was rewarded Friday and he pounced, signing 3 veterans arms to the bullpen. Lefties Jerry Blevins(Huge for NY over his 2 seasons) and Tom Gorzellany(Been an excellent southpaw reliever until tough 2016) as well as Right Fernando Salas(Proven late inning arm) should have the Mets set to open camp and the season. Gorzellany’s deal is a non guaranteed minor league deal but very smart for both the player and team. New York needs as many viable arms as possible out of the pen with the domestic violence suspension of closer Jeurys Familia looming. Meanwhile, Infielder and fan favorite Wilmer Flores won his arbitration case vs the club and New York appears to be set position players wise heading into Spring Training. However, with the team not getting good return-value on the trade market for both Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson, CF Juan Lagares name has be linked to trade discussions. Stay Tuned.
After trying to move him for most of the offseason, New York Mets management has told RF Jay Bruce he will be in RightField when the season begins and have an everyday role. The team could use the $13 million he owed to supplement their bullpen, which could use another lefty in a left bat heavy NL East(Harper-Murphy-Freeman is not a law firm) but the market overall for power hitters is slow and trades are not fetching strong returns. This is a win, win for both the Mets and Bruce in my opinion. I am a big fan of Jay(Has a GREAT 1st name) and he is on walk year. CenterField will be manned by veteran Curtis Granderson(Also a free agent after the season) and Juan Lagares(defensive sub). The role of Michael Conforto is yet to be determined and both Bruce and Conforto might get reps at 1B with Lucas Duda returning from a serious back injury that cost him much of 2016. Bruce and Granderson should pair with Yoenis Cespedes to hit 30 + homers as they did in 2016. The only team in MLB to achieve this feet.
The Baseball Hall of Fame welcomed 3 more elected players Wednesday as OF Tim Raines, 1B Jeff Bagwell and C Ivan Rodriquez got voted into Cooperstown in the Class of 2017. I had the pleasure of watching all 3 for their entire careers and they are very deserving. However, this vote might signal a change in the minds of voters on the stance of potential PED use. 2 of these 3 players have been linked or rumored for much of their careers to steroids. Another from last years Hall class also heard whispers for years. Has the mentality of the baseball writers changed and is this right? And why?
Steroids-PED use took off in the 90s but started in the 1980s. Commissioner Bud Selig was in charge for the peak of the era and was recently voted into the HOF. To me, this both symbolic and odd. First of all, no ML non player-manager should be in the Hall before the late great Marvin Miller. But I digress. I believe many voters allowing Selig in has either shown the forgiveness of the sins of PEDs or that writers are picking and choosing from the era and making their own call on rule benders. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have failed the court of public opinion and did not make it in. No offense to the 3 elected players but they could not touch Barry Bonds at his peak.
People in the anti PED block feel as I do that these players cheated and took jobs from clean players. They got scouts fired who “misevaluated” dirty players or signed a jacked up player who got paid then “shrunk”. One of my favorite all time players did not realize what made him great-quickness and fast hands, wrists ala Hank Aaron. He was an obvious drugs guy and ruined his career. Others took them for money, Lenny Dykstra just talked about this in his recent book. Free agent and TV dollars made hitting HRs and striking guys out very lucrative. PEDs also cost clean players jobs and careers because they did it the right way. Finally, they forever marred stats and records, taking down great heroes like Aaron, Babe Ruth and Roger Maris.
Those in the vote em in crowd say you cannot ignore an entire era. They try to do what I have done and either judge players by how they performed pre PEDs. This is why I would vote in Bonds and not Clemens. Barry was great for 10 years, 5 tool guy. Roger looked like he trained at Dunkin Donuts when he left Boston after 3 down seasons, His career was toast until he went to a Pharmacy. I also look at how well rounded a player is– think Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. Both are power first, second and third guys. Power was their game. Without steroids, you would not know them. NO for me. The hype these two got in chasing the HR record made the egotistical Bonds turn to needles and POOF. We saw an elite talent w elite help.
Whether you believe or don-t with this era of players, here are the facts. The sport had no strong testing program for PEDs. The power #s exploded and players started looking like the Michelin Man. Players like Fred McGriff are not in the HOF today because his #s looked smaller. PUN INTENDED. Baseball is a sport of eras. We had the live ball or white guys only periods. My policy for PEDs and the Hall of Fame? Case by case basis. These games happened, the stats are what they are. Nobody can be sure someone is clean or dirty very often.We can not turn back the clock. Recognize it for what it was and is: The past. Try to celebrate the players.
The New York Mets , as per team policy, settled with all of their arbitration eligible player accept INF Wilmer Flores(Will be first Met to have arby hearing since 2008) and have a good idea where their payroll will be entering spring training. GM Sandy Alderson would like to move an outfielder(Jay Bruce preferred or veteran Curtis Granderson) to clear some $$$ to sign another veteran reliever or two. This team has a lot of guys coming back from surgery and/or injury-pitchers to the entire starting infield. However, the team has both Jose Reyes and Flores in the infield to provide quality depth. In the outfield, Juan Lagares and Michael Conforto will see the field a lot and could start for most teams. Bruce blocks Conforto from playing regularly and Mets management loves the young outfielders potential. Remember the team added Bruce as Cespedes insurance, as he entered free agency after the 2016 season. #52 resigned with New York and Bruce is viewed as a bad fit-investment at 13 million per. Pitching wise, the team let Bartolo Colon go for a reason. The Mets have depth behind the Big Four with Zach Wheeler, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman all having some taste of major league success. Wheeler has not pitched in 2 full major league seasons and might be best served out of the bullpen in 2017 as New York deals with a possible domestic violence for closer Jeurys Familia.
Deadline to file is this Friday, January 13th
|Player||Service Time||Proj. Salary|
Both Duda(1 yr/7.25 Mill) and Wheeler have settled(1 yr/800K). All others will have hearings between team and arbitrator scheduled post Jan 13th.
Just published in the current @BaseballAmerica National League East Top 10 Prospects issue(Dec 30,2016-January 13,2017)
New York Mets Top 10 Prospects:
1- Amed Rosario,SS
2- Dominic Smith, 1B
3- Justin Dunn, RHP
4- Desmond Lindsay, OF
5-Brandon Nimmo, OF
6- Gavin Cecchini, SS-2B
7- Robert Gsellman,RHP
8-Thomas Szapucki, LHP
10- Tomas Nido, C
Happy Holidays to all my readers(5 people)! Lets look at some key final wishes for Mets fans and players heading into 2017.
1- More Moves: The team will trade Jay Bruce and/or Curtis Granderson and do not have a long term solution in center on current team. Bruce is the likely move and Granderson can play some center but would best be served playing more right with a platoon option in center involving Curtis,Michael Conforto and Juan Lagares. Again, the Mets would be better served moving Yoenis Cespedes to right long term. Conforto is a good left fielder and #52’s arm plays well in right. After Granderson’s deal expires post 2017 the Mets should look at this seriously. In a Bruce trade, A return of some immediate relief help and prospects would be ideal.
2- Ideal Infield: The Mets have a lot of bodies, depth and questions but options as well in a well stocked infield. With everyone healthy, The team would parade out 1B Lucas Duda, 2B Neil Walker, SS Asdrubal Cabrera and 3B David Wright. The bad news is all 4 of these men missed serious time in 2016. The good news? Names like Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores, Matt Reynolds and TJ Rivera all showed they can play and do multiple things. Manager Terry Collins has flexibility and quality on all levels. You might not have an infielder play 140 games but The Mets could have a great team. Reyes and Flores could both fill Ben Zobrist super sub roles while Rivera and Reynolds are ideal offense-defense back up types.
3-Pitching Please: The baseball gods owe the Mets one good, healthy season out of the Big Five: Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. New York also has Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman for depth as these 5 work back from various stages of recovery. Wheeler might bridge the gap as a reliever while Jeurys Familia deals with a potential domestic violence suspension to open the 2017 campaign. Health and success of this group is the difference between a good and great Mets team.
Getting sick and tired of the hype with the Washington Nationals and how much better they are than the New York Mets. One team in the National League East made the playoffs the last two years. The same team made the World Series in that same time frame. I will give you a clue, it is not the team Bryce Harper plays for. It is the New York Mets. The team that had more injuries than Evel Knievel in 2016 yet qualified for the playoffs. Those pitchers will be back in 2017 and the Mets are not done with potential trades and signings. Harper is busy tweeting and undermining his front office while worrying about his impending free agency. Mets fans have seen this with the mess who wears #33, when a team “leader” is represented by Scott Boras, winning is not the priority. The 3 most important players on that team Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Harper employ that agent. This explains the silly overpay for a good outfielder in Adam Eaton. Harper has placed an window on the Nats with his insane contract demands and the team has to mortage its future to win. I have a feeling Mets GM Sandy Alderson would not behave in the same manner. In closing, I think the Mets will play in 2017 and compete for the division. Speaking of closing, if you want to smile and relax, look at what the Nationals are looking at for the 9th inning. #LGM
Mets GM Sandy Alderson had several discussions with teams and agents this past week at annual Winter Meetings as he tried to deal from a position of strength(OutField) to fill needs(Bullpen, Overall depth). What has become obvious is the veteran executive wants to keep Curtis Granderson and move Jay Bruce, if given the choice. However, if he can move both(Each is a free agent after 2017) and sign or trade for an everyday centerfielder(Several high end players on the chopping block throughout the game… Charlie Blackmon and Lorenzo Cain two examples), the team would be happy. Granderson has been a solid pro on both New York teams, is a great teammate-community leader and has shown he can play centerfield. I am a Jay Bruce guy but he seemed to struggle and press when he arrived in Queens. He is also a career corner outfielder and pure power hitter in a cavernous Citi Field. Moving Bruce also clears the way for organizational favorite Michael Conforto to assume a larger everday role. Conforto could work at all 3 Outfield spots and Firstbase. Juan Lagares is an elite defender in center as well. Another option here is to move the super talent Yoenis Cespedes to rightfield where his cannon arm would be better put to use. A defensive alignment of Conforto-Grandy and Cespedes is the best option for this team heading into 2017. #52 should be ok with this move, he is a great corner outfielder and very good CF who moved back to left fulltime due to recurring leg issues.
Mets Notes: P Zack Wheeler could open the season in the bullpen to offset a potential suspension for closer Jeurys Familia(Domestic violence) as well as cap an innings limit for the righty as he continues his comeback from Tommy John Surgery in early 2014. The team enters camp with 6 legit starting pitchers in Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Jacob de Grom, Matt Harvey, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman plus Wheeler. Keep in mind 3 of these arms had some type of surgery and Thor pitched a career high inning total … Jose Reyes will get work in the outfield in spring training as well and is another option in Centerfield….Alderson was asked who will be his everyday third baseman in 2017. Without hesitation he answered “David Wright”.
The Major League baseball winter meetings began today in The Washington DC-Maryland area and run through Thursday. Two big ticket outfielders signed in recent days(Ex Met Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday) so the market should stabilize and allow teams like the Mets ,with a surplus of outfielders, to spring into action. Numerous outlets have NY shopping both Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson, who are signed thru the 2017 campaign. Most fans and media think Bruce is a goner while Granderson can play both right and centerfield with Juan Lagares and Michael Conforto also factoring in the outfield. But Granderson’s name has come up and Mets GM Sandy Alderson has shown an ability to adapt to the market during his incredible career. I would not be surprised to see both move and the team add another outfielder via free agency or trade. Defense in center with the Mets has to be a priority with the dimensions in Citi Field and Marlins park(Almost 90 games total at those venues) as well as a franchise based on dominant pitching. The next couple of days should be interesting.
The New York Mets and Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes reached agreement on a 4 year 110 million dollar deal Tuesday afternoon that will keep the Cuban all star in New York for the foreseeable future. #52 brings a star element to Queens, he makes big plays in big spots- home runs, throws and is a huge personality on a team that needs it. It is not a coincidence that the team made the playoffs in back to back seasons for the 1st time since 1999-2000 with this man playing a vital role. Hats off to both the management of the Mets and Yoenis for getting this done. This is a great partnership and works well for both player and club. Now GM Sandy Alderson can focus on improving the bullpen, catching and team depth by possibly trading one of his surplus outfielders(Jay Bruce? Curtis Granderson? Michael Conforto?) for that final piece to a strong Mets team heading into the new year. This was a great day for Mets fans everywhere and the #1 goal of the offseason: retaining Yoenis Cespedes has been achieved. Tremendous job all around- player, team, management, ownership. #WinWin #LGM
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