Coupon-Clipping Mets Soon at It Again

Mets prospect Dilson Herrera

Ryan Doumit‘s 9th inning homerun Thursday off of Daisuke Matsuzaka was the equivalent of pulling the sheet over the corpse that is the Mets 2014 season. With it went the team’s last vestige of relevancy: that of spoiler to the formerly-hated Braves’ playoff chances.

Two stories broke soon after Doumit’s homer landed beyond the right field wall: the first was that the Mets had placed Daniel Murphy on the DL with a strained calf and had called up uber-prospect Dilson Hererra. The second was the revelation that the team has considered moving Travis d’Arnaud to left field. More on the first story in a moment, but let’s look at the d’Arnaud situation for a moment first.

Manager Terry Collins broached the subject with reporters, stating that the team is concerned that d’Arnaud’s history of concussions could lead to permanent injury. That sounds very admirable, as the long-term danger from concussions is becoming more and more recognized. But Terry also inserted catching prospect Kevin Plawecki into the conversation, which raises suspicions of another motive besides concerns over d’Arnaud’s health being in play.

Both Plawecki and d’Arnaud will make the major league minimum next year. Add either Matt den Dekker or Kirk Nieuwenhuis to the left field platoon with d’Arnaud and the Mets have themselves a tidy little troika of players making the major league equivalent of peanuts. Nope, no need to make a deal or sign a free agent, we’ve got left field covered, they’ll be telling us all offseason.

I had the opportunity to observe Hererra in a game this summer (and I even took his picture). He hit a long homerun and looked great in the field. Giving credit where due, GM Sandy Alderson has made a potentially great trade in landing Dilson and Vic Black from Pittsburgh. If Hererra has even a modicum of success in the remaining games, Murphy’s exit from the team this offseason is a fait accompli. Oh, and he was due for such a nice raise next season too.

The great Elvis Costello had a line about being disgusted once but now being only amused. The Wilpons (through their mouthpieces Alderson and Collins) have elevated “slippery” into an artform. On some levels, the d’Arnaud move and the Herrera call-up make sense, especially the latter. Just how convenient is it though, that these “solutions” represent the industry minimum in salary? But, we’re not supposed to look at it that way; instead we are urged to focus on the potential for d’Arnaud, Plawecki, den Dekker and Hererra. Add in those young guns and things could get might interestin’ next summer ‘round Citi Field pardner. Buy those tickets now, ya hear?

One more thought on moving d’Arnaud—didn’t the Mets recently have a very expensive left fielder who suffered a major concussion while playing that position?

A Mets fan since 1971, Dan spent many summer nights of his childhood watching the Mets on WOR Channel Nine, which his Allentown, PA cable company carried. Dan was present at Game 7 of the 1986 World Series and the Todd Pratt Walkoff Game in 1999. He is also the proud owner of two Shea Stadium seats. Professionally, Dan is a Marketing Manager in the Bulk Materials Handling industry. He lives in Bethlehem PA with his wife and son, neither of whom fully get his obsession with the Mets.
  1. meticated August 29, 2014 at 5:24 pm
    It’s D’arnaud. …
    • crozier August 30, 2014 at 12:04 pm
      It’s d’Arnaud, actually.
      • Joe Janish August 30, 2014 at 12:32 pm
        Thanks guys. Corrected.
        • meticated August 30, 2014 at 8:14 pm
  2. Yeats August 30, 2014 at 10:30 am
    There’s been talk of moving Travis d’Arnaud to another position since his days in the Blue Jays organization… although that position has usually been 1b.

    Also, you can’t even get his name right? Seriously, what kind of slipshod blog is this?

    • Joe Janish August 30, 2014 at 12:26 pm
      Holy crap are you perfect? Give the guy a break. We do this on our own time, for free. We don’t always have time to review and edit what’s been written. The point is to start a conversation, not meet AP standards.

      But as long as you’re going to bring it up, take a look at some of the Mets blogs that are funded / pay their writers AND have editors — see how many mistakes you find on those sites compared to this one. If you think MetsToday is slipshod …

      And by the way we APPRECIATE it when mistakes are pointed out and we try to correct them as soon as possible. That said, next time you see a mistake, could you be a little more gracious and understanding in letting us know? Thanks, and I wish you peace in your life.

  3. DaveSchneck August 30, 2014 at 11:30 am
    Having botched Travis’s last name on many occasions I am not as ruffled as the other commenters about your typo.

    I must say that I had the exact reaction as you to this move and potential move of TDA. Sadly, while there ade merits to each, for now and the forseeable future, Met fans will always see moves as cost control before they see them as baseball moves, and rightly so. Only a fool would take this ownership seriously.

    2014 has been a trai sreck in no uncertain terms. The gap between the Mets and the Nats is an ocean, and the Marlins of all teams are both better than the Mets today and better positioned for the future.

    Without an import of MLB ready above average talent of two players that can hit in the top three positions, 2015 will be yet another lost season.

    • meticated August 30, 2014 at 8:16 pm
      It’s are…not ade. ..grins mischievously
  4. Jim Lawlor August 30, 2014 at 12:20 pm
    Moving d’Arnaud isn’t the worst idea. Lots of catchers have been moved. The problem is he is another man without a position. The Mets are full of such players, Flores, Murphy, Campbell, just to name a few. Murphy appears to be an adequate 2Ber now, but it took a long time for him to get there. However, trading him is not the end of the world. They can slot in Flores, Herrera or even Tejada, I suppose. The bottom line is the Mets need a SS and a big bat. If at the end of all the moves, they have only one or neither, then it will be more of the same next year.
  5. Dan B August 30, 2014 at 12:25 pm
    Have we seen Murphy as a Met for the last time? If he gets traded does anyone think it will be for any reason other then financial? We knew the Mets couldn’t afford free agents but now they can’t afford arbitration players. How can a team build through the farm if it can’t afford to keep its players through arbitration? By the way what does it say to the Met’s commitment to building through the farm that they resigned with La’s Vegas for another two hears. I would trade Harvey and Wheeler for a decent owner in a heartbeat.
    • Joe Janish August 30, 2014 at 12:29 pm
      I think there’s a really good chance Murphy has played his last game in a Mets uniform. This will be yet another interesting winter.
    • DaveSchneck August 30, 2014 at 7:37 pm
      No doubt that Alderson will move one or more of the arb eligible players this winter. Gee and Murphy have bulls eyes on their backs. Niese is right behind. With no takers for Colon, the starting pitching will be deep for sure, but they will get 5-6 hits a game and be non-competitive. It is always good to have a few pre-arb guys in the starting line up, but the good teams blend those guys in as complimentary players. Besides the cheapskate owners, the biggest problem on this team are the two big money, 30-something vets. $35 mil for two guys both with OPSs under .700 and easy outs when outs are needed is brutal. Putting a C in LF doesn’t get me excited, and offensively, Murphy is the 2nd best offensive player they have, so even if Herrera was better, unlikely next year even with his bright future, it is far from the significant increase in offense this team needs. When the bottom of their order is Wright-Granderson-Lagares-pitcher, I may drink the koolaid.
      • Dan B August 31, 2014 at 12:31 am
        Hey Dave, did you read my defends of Wright in the write up of game 134?
        • DaveSchneck August 31, 2014 at 3:37 pm
          I hadn’t read your defends until now and I basically agree with what you said. DW is a class act, a stand up guy, and a team player, almost to a fault. If he stun it up from here on out, he still would have a great career and be one of the best Mets ever. I am sure that if Collins tapped his shoulder to PH for Tejada against Kimbrel, he would have gone out there and gave it his best. Granderson as well is a consummate pro and by all accounts a great teammate. Both guys are easy to root for. That said, there are some facts that can’t be ignored. Both have been dreadful in the dog days, healthy or not. Grandy has the worst non-pitcher OPS in August, and DW is bottom 5 for everyday players. Both of their seasons have been dreadful compared to career norms. In 2015, both will be past peak from the standard age perspective. Grandy’s trend has been bad for several years. DW has had multiple health issues over the last 4 years, and to assume that he will go back to career norms in production would be very risky. Since 2014 is shot, 2015 is now in question. To have two of the top three hitters in the lineup with this much uncertainly will make it near impossible to compete. Given the money and DW’s stature as a Met, neither are going anywhere. So, the only alternative for a non-pretending organization is to set up a lineup that relies less on each of these players. If they actually do improve closer to career norms, or even slightly under career norms based on age-related decline, that would be great and could in fact give the team a strong offense (I should be committed for mentioning the Mets and strong offense in the same sentence). Frankly, whether blogging 10,000 words or 20, it will come down to trying to win with lousy owners, and it will come down to how willing the ownership is to invest in players before the team turns the corner, vs. waiting for the team to win and revenues to increase in order to spend more. No matter what they say, or what the plan is, this administration has done nothing but secure itself as an MLB bottom-dweller. That alone is enough for heads to roll regardless of the budget or the ranking of the minor league system.
  6. Dan B September 1, 2014 at 1:06 am
    For what it is worth, even at Wright’s peak I thought he was better suited for #2 then #3. He would of been the best #2 hitter in the league with his baserunning and OBP, circa Beltran with the Astrid.
    • argonbunnies September 3, 2014 at 5:33 pm
      Yeah, woulda been nice to have his OBP in front of Beltran in ’07.

      I am getting worried about Wright. 10+ years in, and he still hasn’t figured out how to fix his swing when it gets out of whack.

      Remember Delgado from mid 2007 to early 2008? He was literally late on every swing. Then he finally started getting his foot down on time, and was vintage Delgado for the rest of 2008. That’s what I foresee for Wright. He’s still got it in him to be great, but he’s also got it in him to be an automatic out for months on end. Not really a guy you want to leave in a key spot in the order in perpetuity.

  7. argonbunnies September 3, 2014 at 5:28 pm
    Good points, Dan. If Flores has a hot last week, you can bet the team will claim he’s turned a corner and go into 2015 with him as a primary SS option, ignoring the preceding 300 ABs of .231/.265/.308. Same with den Dekker. Also same with Herrera, who, however much he might contribute immediately, would certainly be better with more than half a season above A ball. I like the kid’s potential, but he basically gave away 5 ABs on Tuesday and doesn’t seem to time grounders in the hole very well. Let him continue to develop out of the spotlight for a bit.

    The Wilpons opened their checkbook for Granderson, and it didn’t work. He’s probably no better than Nieuwenhuis at this stage. You can be they won’t be in on mid-level FAs again. Just filler and hyping the kids.