By Steven Inman 

Yoenis Cespedes has been key to the Mets revival

Yoenis Cespedes has been key to the Mets revival

All season the Mets have been thought of as solid team that is two or three bats away from seriously competing. Things changed last week with the promotion of Michael Conforto and Travis d’Arnaud’s return from a lengthy DL stint. The team all of a sudden looked like it could stay competitive against the big bad Nationals but things changed drastically when Sandy Alderson made the big trade that fans have been clamoring for when he traded top prospect Michael Fulmer and prospect Luis Cessa for Yoenis Cespedes.

Cespedes has been great early on as a Met. The slugger has 5 RBI in 6 games since arriving in New York. He has been a great baserunner and has looked solid in both left field and centerfield. Perhaps most importantly pitchers now are being forced to throw fastballs to Lucas Duda who has torn the cover off the ball since the new lineup addition. The Mets are 6-0 since Cespedes joined the lineup.

Cespedes, 29, will be a free agent this offseason and many have speculated that he could be looking for a contract around what Shin-Soo Choo got from the Rangers a few winters ago, 7 years, $130 million. Many have speculated that with a strong finish that Cespedes can prove that he is a franchise player, capable of carrying a team to the playoffs. If that happens expect the Cuban outfielder to get even more than the $130M.

Even if the Mets were willing to pay that contract Cespedes has a unique clause in his contract that states he must be released from his contract 5 days after the World Series. When you release a player you cannot bring him back to the franchise until past May 15th. So in other words, if Cespedes can’t agree to a contract extension with the Mets by the end of October he will be elsewhere next season. Even if the Mets wanted to commit to Cespedes long-term they likely would have to severely overpay to prevent him from hitting the free agent market.

With all that it is highly unlikely that Cespedes is a Met next season. Perhaps with the Mets playing better and getting more fans at Citi Field it will help add needed revenue needed to replace Cespedes in the lineup next season. The front office clearly understands that the club needs a big bat preferably right-handed behind Duda so even if Yoenis isn’t a Met next season expect them to bring in somebody who can drive in runs.

That being said, on this website and many others like it we no longer need to talk about the future. The Mets are in win-now mode and a very entertaining division chase with the Washington Nationals. The Mets own one of the better pitching staffs in franchise history and are armed with a lineup that is finally component enough not to drag the arms down. The 9-year playoff drought has a legit chance of ending this season. So enjoy it Met fans, I know I will.

By Steven Inman

Photo by the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

Photo by the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

As the entire baseball world knows by now, the Mets had a deal in place to reacquire All-Star centerfielder Carlos Gomez for rehabbing RHP Zack Wheeler and infielder Wilmer Flores. The situation was a mess as the Mets left Wilmer Flores on the field Wednesday during the entire game with rumors swirling that he had been dealt. The Mets had concerns about a hip condition that Gomez had and pulled out of the deal. Brewers GM Doug Melvin was obviously not pleased with the deal falling apart and said he wouldn’t be discussing any more deals with the Mets during the trade deadline so Gerardo Parra will not be coming to the Mets either. The Brewers swiftly moved Gomez and RHP Mike Fiers to the Astros for a hoard of prospects. The whole ordeal was very interesting as we learned a few things about the current state of the New York Mets.

1. The Mets have the payroll flexibility to add another contract.

Sandy Alderson was right last week when he said to reporters that he had the go ahead to add another contract to the Mets $100M payroll. That statement seemed highly unlikely to come to fruition even a few months ago. Gomez is making $8M this season and $9M next season in the final year of his contract. While that is reasonable for a player of his caliber it seemed highly unlikely the Mets would be able to take on that kind of money when the season started. The Mets have also discussed a trade for Jay Bruce who will earn $12.5M in 2016 and has a $13M club option for 2017 and while they may need to be creative to fit that contract on their financial books, perhaps this club isn’t as broke as they have been in previous seasons.

2. The Mets are more than willing to trade Zack Wheeler. 

Zack Wheeler’s name had surfaced in trade dialogue with clubs such as the Rockies and Cubs over the winter in the Mets never ending search to acquire a hitter. Conventional wisdom said with his value down after spring Tommy John surgery, the Mets would hold on to Wheeler at least until his value was back up. That no longer appears to be the case as the Mets have discussed moving Zack with nearly every club that has a middle of the order hitter available. At this point it would be a surprise if Wheeler made his return from Tommy John with the Mets. The Mets have been very impressed with the work of pitching prospect Michael Fulmer and believe Wheeler is now expendable.

For the moment, Zack Wheeler is still a New York Met (Photo by NY Post)

For the moment, Zack Wheeler is still a New York Met (Photo by NY Post)

3. There is a serious miscommunication problem between Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins. 

When Brewers GM Doug Melvin sensed their was a chance that the Carlos Gomez trade could get done he notified his manager Craig Counsell immediately to let Gomez know. Most organizations believe it is important to keep the manager in the loop by not Alderson. If anything it was more important for Alderson to relay that information to Collins than it was for Melvin as the Mets were in the middle of a game and Flores should have been removed from the game immediately to prevent an injury. Collins was visibly frustrated in his post game interview and really had no idea that a trade was possible until a player during the game told him Flores had been crying.

4. The Mets believe their window to win is right now.

The Mets have made more trades to add players this week than they had made in Alderson’s 5-year history as Mets General Manager. They have been in talks on seemingly every hitter and seem very determined to get one. At this point it would be a surprise if the Mets didn’t add some kind of bat by 4:00pm Friday. The Mets aren’t worried about putting players like Michael Cuddyer or Juan Lagares on the bench despite their contracts. In previous seasons the Mets may not have acquired a corner outfielder if they already had one struggling on the team with a large contract, They seem to understand that Cuddyer isn’t working out and instead of getting him healthy and then making sure he plays everyday, the club is more focused on upgrades.

Having said that what is next for the Mets?

By Steven Inmanima

It has happened. The New York Mets have made a trade, acquiring infielders Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson along with cash considerations from the Braves for two minor league pitching prospects, John Gant and Rob Whalen. Uribe and Johnson who are both having solid years will have an immediate impact on the Mets pathetic and malnourished lineup.

Uribe, 36, is having a solid year with stops with the Dodgers and Braves, hitting .272 with a .331 OBP, 8 home runs and 23 RBI. Uribe is kind of like the position player version of Bartolo Colon, no matter how old he gets he just keeps trucking along. He has World Series experience with the Giants and White Sox and is known as a tremendous clubhouse presence. Uribe will likely play third base in New York for the foreseeable future. Uribe has played just six innings away from the hot corner since 2013.

Kelly Johnson will hope his second stint in New York will turn out better than his first one when he badly struggled with the Yankees in 2014 and was flipped in a deadline deal to the Red Sox. Johnson, 33, has traveled a ton over the last year. The Mets will be Johnson’s fifth team since the start of the 2014 season. He is having a bounce back year as Johnson is batting .275 with 9 dingers and 34 RBI despite only having 182 at bats in 2015. Johnson now leads the Mets in batting average and slugging percentage. He can play all over the diamond as he has played both corner infield and outfield spots this season along with second base. This allows Terry Collins to have something he hasn’t had in sometime as manager of the Mets which is flexibility.
Collins can put Johnson all over the field. With Uribe now at third, Daniel Murphy will likely shift back to second. That means one of Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada will have to sit most nights before even considering where to put Johnson. If Murphy and Lucas Duda continue to struggle perhaps Johnson can steal playing time away from one of them. The Mets hitters are now no longer guaranteed to play everyday.

The Mets are not ruling out making another deadline move with nearly a week still to go before the trade deadline.

Do you like the Mets trade deadline acquisitions?

Trade Deadline 2015 Podcast

Posted: July 24, 2015 in Podcast
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Join Rob DeLucia and I as we delve into Met topics such as the arrival of Michael Conforto, the Mets window to win, the best fits for the Mets at the deadline and our confidence level in Sandy Alderson making a trade.

 

Remember your question can be part of the next show by tweeting @brokemets

 

By Steven Inman

Photo by Newsday

Photo by Newsday

Jacob deGrom has been even better than he was in his 2014 NL Rookie of the Year campaign. He has been the ace of one of the better pitching staffs in major league baseball. As a shortstop up until college, there is little mileage on deGrom’s arm. From a Mets perspective it makes too much sense to lock up the 27-year old to a long term deal this winter.

The Mets have assembled one of the greatest young rotations in franchise history in deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and eventually Zack Wheeler. Unfortunately they will not be able to keep all that talent unless they either double their payroll (a joke) or start trying to lock these guys up now before they start going to arbitration.

The Mets lone 2015 All-Star won’t be a free agent until after the 2020 season but the name of the game here is cost control.

It’s important to look at this from both sides here. Obviously the Mets want to keep all of their young talent as long as they can but from Jacob’s standpoint he was a 9th round pick in 2010 so he wasn’t exactly a bonus baby. Jacob is making just 557K this season so a deal that gives him financial security for life would have to appeal to him more than a guy like Matt Harvey, who will begin going through arbitration this winter.

A deal similar to what Julio Teheran got from the Braves a few winters ago, 6-yrs $32.4M with a team option for a 7th year would make a lot of sense on both sides. The Mets would keep deGrom throughout his whole prime on a cost controlled deal and deGrom would have financial security. The Mets will have to be creative with moves like this if they have any hope to keep their super rotation long term. If the Mets aren’t going to be spending much money on free agents then they should at least be signing their own players.

Definitely something to keep an eye on this winter.

By Steven Inman 

Carlos Gomez would give the lifeless Met lineup a jolt

Carlos Gomez would give the lifeless Met lineup a jolt

After the most impressive road trip of the 2015 Mets season, optimism surrounds the Mets as they head towards their final series of the first half. So the question Met fans are asking now is what next? Well next should be Sandy Alderson going out and acquiring a bat.

We have already speculated here on BrokeMets how great a fit Ben Zobrist would be for the Mets. Zobrist is going to have a ton of interest and could fit a number of teams but he isn’t the only option that would help the Mets without costing them all that much financially.

The Mets should call the Milwaukee Brewers to discuss one of their outfielders. Former Met Carlos Gomez along with gold glove outfielder Gerardo Parra are available in trades. Neither is making all that much money compared to other outfielders who could be on the move in a couple weeks. Parra, 28, is set to be a free agent after the season so the 37-50 Brewers will surely trade him. Parra is hitting a career best .309 with eight homers and 40 runs scored in 84 games for the Brew Crew this season. Parra would fit the Mets perfectly because he can play all three outfield positions, he is only making $6.2M this season and most importantly he could be the Mets first legit leadoff hitter since Jose Reyes. In 18 games in the leadoff spot this season Parra is hitting .380 with a .407 OBP.

Parra is a gold glove outfielder in all three outfield positions and is an upgrade offensively over all of the Mets current outfielders. The Mets have had interest in Parra in the past when he was a Diamondback. Parra as a rental wouldn’t cost the Mets a top arm unlike Carlos Gomez who is also available for the right price.

Gomez, 29, was the key piece that sent Johan Santana from the Twins to the Mets back in 2008. After leaving Minnesota, Gomez figured it all out to become an all-around star. He is having a down year due to a bad April but he is a great centerfielder with two tools the Mets don’t possess much of right now, power and speed. He could take the Mets to a whole other level and like Parra could also leadoff if needed.

Gomez is on a very team friendly contract making $8M this season and $9M next season before becoming a free agent. With his very inexpensive deal, expect the Brewers to ask for a haul for their 2-time All-Star so it remains to be seen if the Mets could reacquire Gomez without giving up one of their top flight pitchers, which they are unwilling to do.

Parra or Gomez would be tremendous fits for the Mets. Neither is making much money and both are available now for the right price. Alderson should be calling Doug Melvin in Milwaukee immediately.

Expect a ton of rumors on Gomez and Parra as we get continue to get closer to the deadline…

By Steven Inman

After an amazing first half Jacob deGrom has made the NL All-Star team. deGrom has been truly dominant and has become one of the most unlikely stars in New York Mets history. A 9th round pick out of Stetson University who mostly played shortstop in college is having one of the better seasons a Met pitcher has ever had. deGrom, 27, is 8-6 with a 2.30 ERA on the season. He has allowed just 82 hits in 105.2 IP and has a WHIP of under 1.00. His FIP of 2.76 (Fielding Independent Pitching) shows that he hasn’t really been lucky this season and is unlikely to regress much in the second half.

deGrom truly earned this honor and wasn’t selected just to give the Mets a representative. Jake was voted on by the players not Bruce Bochy the NL Manager. It just shows you how truly dominant his peers think he is. deGrom will face Bochy’s Giants Wednesday afternoon. deGrom is 4-1 with a 1.30 ERA in six day starts this season.

Jeurys Familia also deserved to make the team but with so many great closers in the NL along with the fact that every team needs to be represented kept the Mets 9th inning man off the roster… For now. Familia was put on the Final Ballot along with 2014 NL MVP Clayton Kershaw and the All-Star Game hometown star Johnny Cueto. As a Met fan it is a little disappointing to see Familia’s tremendous first half not be rewarded with a roster spot. Familia has a 1.13 ERA and 23 saves but Cueto is more of the travesty. He has is having another tremendous year and his club (for the moment) is hosting the All-Star festivities.

The Mets and the Twins have teamed up in an attempt to get both Familia and Brian Dozier on the All-Star team

The Mets and the Twins have teamed up in an attempt to get both Familia and Brian Dozier on the All-Star team

Even if Familia doesn’t win the Final Vote he still has a very solid chance to make the All-Star team if someone gets hurt. These rosters will change, they always do. A case could be made that other than Trevor Rosenthal, Familia has been the best closer in the NL. The flamethrower has allowed just five earned runs all season.

Familia must have caught the attention of Bruce Bochy who admitted it was very difficult to keep him off the roster. Familia may have had his best outing of the season Monday night in Bruce Bochy’s home ballpark during the Mets 3-0 win over the Giants.

These two Met pitchers have earned the recognition they are getting and will have to continue their strong seasons if the Mets want to remain in the playoff race…