Motte the Met and Other Musings

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  The arrival of the holiday season also means that right on time, the hot stove is blazing away. The Mets offseason acquisitions are once again likely to be of the smaller type, as GM Sandy Alderson and his brain trust appear fully confident that last year’s 79-win team only needs some minor tweaking to blossom into a contender.

Since it is Thanksgiving, we’ll use a restaurant analogy: unlike the Boston Red Sox, we won’t be dining at Daniel this offseason. Instead,  we’ll  get to pick from one of the many options at the Bergen Mall food court.

Recent Metsblog speculation has the Mets interested in former Cardinal closer Jason Motte. This is one of Matthew’s more intriguing rumors.  After a brilliant 2012 season, including a league-leading 42 saves, Motte missed all of 2013 following TJS. His 2014 was a lost season and observers noted that his 2014 velocity was down at least 3 MPH over 2012 (a cautionary tale for Matt Harvey). However even at partial strength, he held lefty batters to a .211 BA, even lower than his career norm. Yes, I know, small sample size.

If and it’s a big if, Motte can return to the pre-surgery form, he gives the Mets a formidable late inning arm. He also has a cool beard and has done some good charity work. Any hey, he used to be a catcher, which counts for something, at least on this blog! Alderson can probably get him for cheap. He should try.

Besides Motte, here are some other names associated with our team lately:

  • Craig Breslow: On the surface, he is a better choice than Motte, as he is the epitome of the LOOGY they need. He’s a New York guy, but then so was Nelson Figueroa. He really fell off a cliff last year and will turn 35 during the season.  Just my own gut feeling, but I think Breslow is done and I would rather take a chance on Motte, who if nothing else, has a much bigger upside.
  • Jonny Gomes: For openers, he is an ex-Padre and ex-Athletic, which is the type of player that Alderson likes to acquire. He was one of the heroes of Boston’s 2013 World Championship team and does bring many intangibles with his game. Caution: his 2014 performance dipped as the year wore on and he has put up a below average slash line for two consecutive years. He might be a fun guy to have around, but either Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Matt den Dekker are likely to outhit him (albeit from the other side of the plate) at this stage of his career.
  • Ryan Ludwick: Another ex-Padre, he OPS’d .683 for the Reds last year. Hard to believe he is 36 already. He is at the top of this class of outfielders, which is somewhat akin to being the top of the Delta pledge class in Animal House.
  • Delino DeShields Jr.: Here is an excellent article on some of the players available in this year’s Rule V draft. Before parenthood and career responsibilities occupied more real estate in my brain, I spent a lot of time delving into that draft, so I appreciate that someone has picked up the banner. Experience reminds us that for every Johan Santana  left unprotected, there’s also a Brad Emaus, a Pedro Beato, a Doug Simons or a Mike Draper out there just waiting to clog up a roster spot.
  • Daniel Murphy to the Giants? I have also read and heard speculation that the San Francisco Giants’ loss of Kung Fu Panda to the Red Sox has them eyeing Murphy to play third base. In reality, I would think that Murphy is somewhat way down on the Giants list of options; plus any deal is likely predicated on the Mets first acquiring a shortstop and sliding Wilmer Flores over to second. Hard to decide which of these  scenarios is the more unlikely.

At the end of the offseason, we will probably have to be satisfied with the additions of Ludwick/Gomes/Breslow or Motte, along with Michael Cuddyer and a healthy  Harvey. Would that work for you? Or do you have a Murphy to the Giants trade proposal? How about a realistic one for a shortstop? Let’s hear it.

 

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Athletics Acquire Ike Davis

The Oakland Athletics have traded international signing money to the Pittsburgh Pirates for former Met Ike Davis.

Ironically, in a related move, the A’s DFA’d former Met Andrew Brown to make room on the 40-man roster for Davis.

In other news, the Athletics also signed former Kansas City Royal Billy Butler. Considering that Butler is a righthanded-hitting DH / first baseman who tends to hit better against lefthanded pitchers, maybe Davis will have an opportunity to platoon a bit in Oakland.

Other transactions over the past week or so:

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