The Wild Week That Was

The winter meetings ended, but the hot stove is still sizzling. At least, it is outside of Flushing.

Let’s do a quick rundown on all the activity over the past week. Is anyone else having a hard time keeping track?

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It’s All on Alderson Now

Raise your hand if you had Michael Cuddyer, John Mayberry, Jr and  Sean Gilmartin as the additions to the Mets roster for 2015. I know it isn’t even Christmas yet, but the feeding frenzy that was the last two days of the Winter Meetings have left the cupboards bare of any impact or any serviceable players the Mets might hope to acquire. All that’s left are the mega-pitchers and a motley collection of castoffs and/or unwanted contracts. I will stick by my earlier prediction about a minor league contract offer to Everth Cabrera, provided  he survives his court date.

Other than that, those three names are all there is, there ain’t no more. See you in March.

A recent report indicated that the Red Sox asked for either Noah Syndergaard or Jacob deGrom for Yoenis Cespedes, before they swapped him to Detroit for Rick Porcello.

The Mets don’t have a Rick Porcello on their roster to trade. What they do have is a bunch of Mystery Boxes (in the form of  their pitching prospects) along with at least a dozen movable, but essentially unremarkable players, most of which are more valuable to the Mets than to another team. Alderson doesn’t want to move any of his mystery boxes until he has opened them up and seen what they can do. This is what separates him from past Met GMs and from some of his more prominent contemporaries. He is cautious to the point of being miserly. They lost what,  five players in the Rule V draft?  You mean he couldn’t even make any trades at that level? What’s going on here?

This is the start of Year Five of the Alderson reign. This is 100% his team now and the coming success or failure is now all on him. We know how toxic the Wilpons are. Alderson knows it as well.  If he didn’t like the way they operate, then he shouldn’t have re-upped. If he is sick of the guys he inherited from Omar, he has had ample opportunity by now to unload them.  The first four years of  Alderson’s reign are much like the first four years of the Frank Cashen era. At the start of the 1984 season (Cashen’s fifth) the media and the fans where ready to run Bowtie Frank and his Baltimore Mafia out of town. For Alderson, this is his 1984.

The Mets need to win ten more games  than last year. 89 wins. Period. That total should at the very least qualify them for a wildcard berth. Anything else is unacceptable and is all on Alderson.  Think of anything that might go wrong on their march back to contention. If it is apparent to us outsiders, it stands to reason it would come as no surprise to our brainy front office. It’s time to hold Alderson 100% responsible for the 2015 team. There are no more excuses. So with apologies to Ray Liotta from Goodfellas…

89 wins is not unreachable. Doubling last year’s win total against Washington (four) and doing better against a fading Braves team might get them six of the 10. The math works. Will Alderson’s plan? Sound off below

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Mets Lose Verrett, Gain Gilmartin

During the Rule 5 Draft, the Mets lost potential back-end starter / middle reliever Logan Verrett to the Orioles, but picked up lefthanded pitcher Sean Gilmartin from the Twins organization.

Additionally, the Mets lost four AA players during the minor-league draft: right-hander Greg Peavey (Twins), catcher Cam Maron (Reds), infielder Juan Carlos Gamboa (Padres) and right-hander Randy Fontanez (Dodgers). I don’t know much about any of these four players — other than the fact that Maron is from Hicksville, Long Island, and Peavey put up good numbers last year as a 25-year-old in AA.

As for Verrett, the Mets were expecting to lose him, but they didn’t think he’d have much of a chance to make their ballclub in the spring, so were comfortable leaving him off the 40-man roster. There’s a decent chance he doesn’t stick with Baltimore and is returned before the end of the season.

Gilmartin turns 25 next May. Of his 80 professional games, he’s started 79, but the Mets view him as a potential bullpen piece, and not necessarily as a LOOGY. He was a first-round draft pick (28th overall) in 2011 and, as recently as 2012, was the Braves #4 prospect. However, he struggled with shoulder problems in 2013 and dropped to #10 in the Braves’ system before being dealt to the Twins for Ryan Doumit. Gilmartin is a finesse pitcher who lives in the bottom of the strike zone and relies on painting the corners. From what I’ve read about him, he sounds like Pat Misch — which could turn out to be a valuable asset for the Mets in 2015. Nice gamble, nothing much to lose here.

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Mets Go To Mayberry

No, they didn’t go to interview Sheriff Andy Griffith for a security position at Citi Field. And Gomer Pyle didn’t change their oil.

Rather, the Mets have signed John Mayberry, Jr. to a one-year, $1.45M Major League contract.

This may not be the signing that pushes you to buy a season-ticket plan. But it is a decent signing, and Mayberry fits what the Mets were looking for: a cheap, ordinary righthanded hitter who won’t embarrass himself in an outfield corner when Michael Cuddyer plays first base against lefthanded pitchers. The way I see it, Mayberry is likely to provide more production than Chris Young did last year, for almost $6M less.

Thoughts?

There’s been a ton of other news in the past day, and I’ll try to get to all of it.

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