Mets Pass On Yasmany Tomas, Nelson Cruz

nelson-cruz-orioles

In case you missed it, the Mets did not sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas nor Adulterated League slugger Nelson Cruz.

Tomas was signed by the Diamondbacks for 6 years, $68.6M. The Mariners locked up Cruz — who was originally drafted by the Mets — for 4 years, $58M.

I combined the news of these two signings for a few reasons. First, the investment figures are strikingly similar, despite the contrast in age, experience, and reliability between the two players. Second, one would think that these would be two players that the New York Mets would be after, yet they were not.

In previous years, the Mets passed on Cuban gambles such as Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes, and Jose Abreu. Hey, they weren’t the only team afraid to roll the dice, so you can’t be too hard on the Mets. Then again, the Mets weren’t rolling the dice on ANYONE from ANY country, so you have to wonder if it was more about being cautious as a policy / discipline — or was it for financial reasons?

This offseason, though, is supposed to be different from those previous. This is the winter that the Mets are “going all in,” with the goal of pushing the 2015 squad into the postseason. Granted, the offseason is far from over — the winter meetings have yet to begin — but it’s somewhat mysterious that a team in dire need of offensive production would completely pass on two big targets who wound up being fairly affordable.

I will repeat, for emphasis: affordable. Look at it this way: the Mets spent more on Curtis Granderson last winter than the cost of either Cruz or Tomas. If you didn’t like Cruz’s age, you might have liked Tomas’ upside. If you didn’t like the idea of gambling on Tomas’ uncertain adjustment to life in the USA and MLB, you could have signed Cruz.

Kudos to the Mets for jumping on Michael Cuddyer early, but Cuddyer alone will not turn the Mets into a team that wins more games than it loses. There’s already been discussion around the blogosphere that the Mets are looking for another righthanded hitter to pair with Cuddyer against LHPs — maybe someone like Jonny Gomes, Ryan Ludwick, Nate Schierholtz, or Michael Morse. One of those players could make sense, but again, is it enough to push the Mets to the next level?

Oh and by the way — why did the D’backs sign Tomas? That seems crazy to me, unless the plan is to now use Mark Trumbo as a trading chip. Hmm … could that mean there’s a Trumbo-to-Mets trade on the horizon, perhaps one that includes Didi Gregorius or Chris Owings, with one or several of Noah Syndergaard, Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, and Bartolo Colon moving to Arizona?

What do you think? Should the Mets have been in on Yasmany Tomas or Nelson Cruz? Why or why not? And do you think they will obtain another slugger before the winter is over — or was Cuddyer their “big” offensive acquisition? Could the Tomas signing be a prelude to a Mets-Diamondbacks deal?

Post your notes in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Rich December 1, 2014 at 6:41 pm
    Scary but right about Granderson. Plus, I doubt the DBacks are just gonna fork over Trumbo when they gave up Eaton and Skaggs for him. Double plus, something tells me Cuddyer is going to be playing a lot more 1b than RF, which means Duda will be playing RF, so not that interested in Trumbo. RHB or not.
  2. meticated December 1, 2014 at 6:47 pm
    we’re a day late…as usual…the splash we made last season was ill advised..Granderson was a short right porch strikeout monster…chris young was an expensive catch lightning in a bottle cut out bin excuse…colon is a delight and an asset
  3. meticated December 1, 2014 at 6:52 pm
    we should be “in” on Moncada for sure…and I’m of the mindset that keep the pitching to an extent dont give away resources for a shortstop when we have Flores and his bat…emply defensive shifts and if Andrus is available for Colon/Gee/Niese then pull that trigger…give them all three and Puello…D. Smith and Mazzoni..reload their depleted staff
  4. Bill December 1, 2014 at 8:30 pm
    Hey Joe, to answer your question(s), they should certainly not have been in on Cruz – he is pretty one-dimensional. Cuddyer for 2 years and 21M is a much better signing than Cruz at 4/58M. While Cuddyer is certainly not a gold glover out there, he has to be better than Cruz. Cruz will make a decent DH, and Seattle will shortly find out that their stadium doesn’t have as many homers in it as Camden Yards. As for Tomas, that is not as clear to me. It seems as though some teams were turned off to some degree as they got closer – he didn’t get the contract that I was expecting, but I didn’t have a very good read on the whole package – all I heard about was the power. Not sure of his defense, arm, average, plate patience, etc.
    As for Trumbo, if he is included in a deal to the Mets, I’ll do what I did with football . give up following it :-). He is not what they need. . what would they do with him? Another overpaid outfield butcher. I am good with their ‘starting three’ at this point – Granderson is not going to sit with his contract, Lagares is not going to sit with his defense, and Cuddyer is not going to be a 21M platoon man. Trumbo has no spot. While I don’t disagree that they still need another right-handed hitting bench/outfielder, it should be a defense-first player that can give you a decent at-bat, occasional power and a reasonable OBP. (yeah, like they grow on trees, huh?) The only other place they could use another slugger is at Shortstop and the only slugger out there playing short is Tulowitzki and any trade for him would be a bad deal for the Mets at this point with his contract/injury history/Coors Field background/massive return being asked for by the Rockies. Other than that he is a fantastic player.

    Actually, I am OK with Cuddyer being the ‘big’ acquisition for the winter. I would like to see another/upgraded shortstop (Gregorius), that magic RHH defensive oriented outfielder (I guess Gomes fits that the best – not a Morse fan as that is the same argument as Trumbo – not sure about Schierholtz and Ludwick has had better days), and another lefty in the pen. With those moves, some (even marginal) bounce back (Wright/Granderson) and a little bit of luck (keep the injuries at bay, d’Arnaud is the hitter he was in the 2nd half for the whole year, Duda has another year of .260/30 HR/90+ RBI, Murphy is Murphy, and Lagares doesn’t regress), this team could easily be 10 or 12 games better. (Also I have enjoyed watching some of the Cuddyer clips that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise – card tricks, etc.). I guess I don’t expect Cuddyer to be the ultimate power source, but he really can flat-out hit. A .290+/15-20 HR/25-30 doubles/80 RBI line would be just fine with me.

  5. argonbunnies December 1, 2014 at 8:48 pm
    Glad we didn’t pursue Cruz. If his ability to club HRs drops much, he’d be below replacement level thanks to poor D, position inflexibility, and whiffing 3 times as often as he walks. At age 34, he’d be a rare modern exception if he did NOT decline. I would have liked him on a 1-year deal, but nothing else.

    Tomas was rumored to be getting $100 mil, so I was initially uninterested. For the money he actually did get, though, I would have much rather signed him than Granderson or Cuddyer. Oh well, too late now!

    The move I found most interesting was the Blue Jays’ trade for Donaldson. if the Mets are serious about winning now, THAT is the type of move they need to make. Do whatever it takes to fill a position with a genuine star — then you’re in a position to sort out your other spots with cheap FAs or minor leaguers… which is what the Mets are doing with several positions anyway. Hanley, Baez, Tomas, Brad & Andrew Miller, the other guys we’ve discussed recently… all would be improvements, but also risks and likely not the best bang for a given buck. But someone like Donaldson, a top-10 MVP candidate in his prime? THAT is something I could get excited about. If only Tulowitzki could stay healthy, I’d be beating that drum, regardless of what it’d take. But he can’t, so we’re left to wonder…

    Who else might be out there? Trout, Bautista, McCutchen and Posey aren’t going anywhere. If we get Braun, I’d vomit. Plus the Brewers seem to be trying to win now-ish, so I don’t see Gomez or Lucroy being offered. Who else?

    I assume the D’backs want to build around Goldschmidt, but that’s a team that needs so much help that you never know. If we could dream of Stanton, we can dream of Goldy, who, by the way, will be earning relative peanuts for his age 27-31 seasons. To get Donaldson, the Jays gave up a solid replacement, two near-ready but low-upside pitchers, and an A-ball stud. Could the Mets get Goldschmidt for Duda, Montero, Logan Verrett, and Amed Rosario? If so, then now would be the time.

  6. DanSchneck December 2, 2014 at 12:20 am
    Joe,
    I’m fine with no Cruz, I prefer Grandy.
    Tomas at $11 million per for 6 is interesting, but again no tears.
    Cuddyer still looks like a good first move, but only if the follow by more upgrades – quality LH bullpen arm, upgrades reserve RH bat, middle infield, even bacup catcher. All young power arms need to be held. They can still build a playoff contender, built on deep pitching at SP and in the pen, and good-enough defense, with moves that are not big splash” Will the marketing dept. be happy? Probably not until they show they can hang with he big boys through early Sept.
  7. Joe Janish December 2, 2014 at 2:43 pm
    I think the Mets HAD to be in on either Cruz or Tomas if they are serious about improving the team. That doesn’t NECESSARILY mean they needed to acquire either — they simply needed to show some interest. But they’re showing no interest in anyone with a big bat on the free-agent market, which is confounding — unless they wind up making a really big trade, which, of course, is still very possible. I really believe Cuddyer, even at his “bargain” price of $21M, is a risky roll of the dice — as big a risk as Tomas or Cruz in that his production going forward is iffy, and really not much different from the dice rolled on Chris Young last winter. In other words, I think there’s a much better chance of Nelson Cruz hitting 30+ homers next year and continuing to be near that production through 2016-17, regardless of uniform or home stadium, than there is the chance of Cuddyer staying healthy enough to appear in 230+ games over the next two years and hitting nearly as well as he did in a Rockies uniform.

    If the player doesn’t perform, but is a less-expensive disappointment, that’s better than a more expensive disappointment? For a team looking to go to the postseason, that doesn’t seem to me to be a great strategy. To me, “gambling” on Cuddyer but passing on someone like Cruz (or Han-Ram, or Tomas, etc.) is trying not to fail, rather than trying to succeed.

    • Bill December 2, 2014 at 5:36 pm
      I am a bit confused – why would you be in on a player you don’t really want? Cruz for 4 years is certainly not what Alderson is looking for and Tomas at that cost will tie up a lot of money for a really unknown player. He may turn out to be Roberto Clemente, but at this point with the finances they have to play with, they cannot tie up 70M with that much unknown. Cruz will be 35 about halfway thru the season and Alderson is really hoping that the two guys he drafted will make it before the four years are up. Not that Cuddyer necessarily qualifies, but I think Alderson is looking for a more complete player than either Cruz or Tomas is.

      Along the same line, but a bit different avenue – where are you on Matt Kemp? Should the Mets be kicking the tires on him as a ‘big bat’ ? Are trades different than free-agency? Should they have been engaged more with the Braves for Heyward? How ’bout Cespedes? Upton? Hunter?

      • Joe Janish December 2, 2014 at 8:24 pm
        I really don’t understand how the Mets wouldn’t “want” Tomas or Cruz. If not for Lucas Duda’s fluke year, they would have finished last in the league — maybe in all MLB — in homeruns. Even WITH Duda’s surprising output, they still were about ten dingers behind the average. Considering that the front office’s strategy is to clog the bases with unathletic OBP guys that trot home on the long ball, I’d think they’d be all over any and every ballplayer with the potential to hit 25+ homers — outfielders and free agents in particular, since OF is an area of need and a free agent doesn’t cost mortgaging the future. When I said the Mets didn’t necessarily need to obtain either of them, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be interested / wouldn’t want those players — it meant they should have at minimum INQUIRED on their services to see what could be negotiated.

        Don’t be fooled — Alderson is not looking for a “more complete” player. He’s looking for sluggers, because sluggers sell tickets. And he’s looking for cheap sluggers, which no longer exist — at least, not without some kind of baggage or risk. Yeah, sure, Alderson would LOVE to get a guy who’s a lock to hit 30 HR, .300 AVG., .400 OBP, and play Gold Glove defense — doesn’t everyone? But that kind of production isn’t going to be obtained without either trading away major prospects (which the Mets don’t seem willing to do), spending a ton of money (which the Mets seem unable to do), and/or taking on some risk while keeping fingers crossed (which the Mets seem willing to do if the cost is low enough).

        To your question regarding kicking the tires on Kemp, Heyward, Cespedes, et al — heck yeah, why the heck not? Is this team truly serious about taking things to the next level? Or do they believe the B.S. they’re spooning to potential season-ticket buyers — that every single player from last year’s roster is going to improve or at least maintain production, and all it’s going to take is Cuddyer plus one or two other minor tweaks to reach the postseason?

        I’m not convinced Duda is going to hit 30 HR again — probably because he never hit more than 15 before and because we’ve seen Ike Davis go from 32 to pffffffft in the blink of an eye. And probably because even the Mets are publicly discussing the idea of pairing Duda with Cuddyer in a platoon — even they don’t believe he’ll ever hit enough against LHPs to be an everyday solution. And I don’t see Granderson getting better as he ages in the post-PEDs era. And I don’t see Juan Lagares suddenly matching his fielding production with the bat. And I don’t know what David Wright will do again. And Cuddyer is a huge health risk. And a team that positions itself as on the cusp of a postseason berth has to quell at least some of those questions with a big bat. They can have all the pitching in the world, but if the defense is going to remain a negative AND they’re not going to score runs, the young guns on the mound won’t be enough for better than a third- or fourth-place finish.

        • DanSchneck December 2, 2014 at 11:02 pm
          Joe,
          No sure I agree with you on this one. KC was within one game of the championship while hitting an MLB low 95 HR and posting a measly .690 OPS, as those figures were posted with the benefit of Adulterated League ball. They also did this with a team that was not top 10 in any major pitching stats. Yes, they were an outlier, yes the D was top notch, and yes they had an unconscious playoff run, but they still did it.

          I agree on the uncertainties surrounding Duda, DW, Cuddyer, and to a lesser extent Granderson. Even so, and even with the frugality/cheapness of the ownership, I prefer that they pursue a course that adds depth and eliminates weak links. Ultimately, it will come down to the performances of the guys mentioned above, but with deep bench of tough outs and solid defenders, and a strengthened pen, they can make a run at 85-90 wins in 2015. That won’t require a big trade and the necessary parting with young arms.

  8. Bat December 2, 2014 at 3:50 pm
    I wonder if the Josh Donaldson transaction shouldn’t be mentioned here as well.

    Meaning: Donaldson is supposedly the best glove man at 3B in the game.

    I know the Mets have their franchise player at 3B, but I think winning teams think outside. People who read this blog may recall that after Sandoval and Ramierz signed with the Red Sox I said something to the effect of “Why didn’t the Mets consider signing Sandoval for 3B, shifting the increasingly injury-prone Wright to 1B, and trading Duda when his value is (quite possibly) at an all-time high?”

    Just to be clear, I’m not necessarily advocating for that Sandoval proposal or for (by way of example) trading something like Wilmer Flores (instead of Brett Lawrie), Amed Rosario (instead of Franklin Barreto), Dillon Gee (instead of Sean Nolin), and Jon Niese (instead of Kendall Graveman). The higher salary of Lawrie is offset by the higher salary of Niese, and the loss of the proven production of Lawrie (not great, but acceptable) is offset by the more proven pitchers of Gee and Niese vis-a-vis Nolin and Graveman. The package seems roughly comparable as I do this, spur of the moment, in 30 seconds off the top of my head (and note that if the A’s didn’t want Niese’s higher salary you can put Montero in this package in place of Niese).

    But even though I’m not necessarily advocating FOR THESE SPECIFIC DEALS, what I am saying is that winning teams think outside the box like this: Wright will likely start declining if he hasn’t entered an outright decline phase already, and a shift to 1B might be good for his legs. Donaldson is one of, if not the, premier defensive 3B in the game. This move lengthens the lineup and improves the defense as Donaldson fields better than Wright at 3B, and Wright fields better than Duda at 1B. Then you deal Duda for a SS to compete with Matt Reynolds in spring training (Alexei Ramirez?) with the loser riding the pine.

    Again, I’m not necessarily saying this particular deal is necessary, but winning teams – and the braintrust of winning teams – think outside the box and make things happen to improve the team. Instead of signing Cuddyer in the fall and then basically saying “Look, we will (a) deal one of Niese, Gee, and tub of goo Colon for a prospect or LH reliever, and (b) try to trade for a backup-type guy to keep Flores honest at SS” the real stars of management again think outside the box.

    I don’t particularly like that Donaldson deal for Oakland but I commend Beane on the ability to analyze his team, think outside the box as to ways to improve, and then be so bold as to strike when he sees an opportunity. I feel like Alderson and Co. are basically going to sleepwalk through the remainder of this offseason and just do (a) and (b) as I mentioned above.

    Again, not sure I would have (for example) signed Sandoval, moved Wright to 1B, and dealt Duda, but I would have seriously considered it and I hope the Mets are similarly considering ways to improve their club besides saying (for example) “We need to sign or trade for a LH reliever to team with Edgin to balance the ‘pen.”

  9. Bat December 2, 2014 at 4:11 pm
    I wonder if the Mets were aware of Josh Donaldson’s availability and considered trading for him.

    Meaning: Donaldson is supposedly the best glove man at 3B in the game and had a huge last two years in terms of WAR.

    I know the Mets have their franchise player at 3B, but I think winning teams think outside the box.

    Just to be clear, I’m not necessarily advocating for (by way of example) trading something like Wilmer Flores (instead of Brett Lawrie), Amed Rosario (instead of Franklin Barreto), Dillon Gee (instead of Sean Nolin), and Jon Niese (instead of Kendall Graveman). The higher salary of Lawrie is offset by the higher salary of Niese, and the loss of the proven production of Lawrie (not great, but acceptable) is offset by the more proven pitchers of Gee and Niese vis-a-vis Nolin and Graveman. The package seems roughly comparable as I do this, spur of the moment, in 30 seconds off the top of my head (and note that if the A’s didn’t want Niese’s higher salary you can put Montero in this package in place of Niese).

    But even though I’m not necessarily advocating FOR THIS SPECIFIC DEAL, what I am saying is that winning teams think outside the box like this: Wright will likely start declining if he hasn’t entered an outright decline phase already, and a shift to 1B might be good for his legs. Donaldson is one of, if not the, premier defensive 3B in the game. This move lengthens the lineup and improves the defense as Donaldson fields better than Wright at 3B, and Wright fields better than Duda at 1B. Then you deal Duda for a SS to compete with Matt Reynolds in spring training (Alexei Ramirez?) with the loser riding the pine.

    Again, I’m not necessarily saying this particular deal is necessary, but winning teams – and the braintrust of winning teams – think outside the box and make things happen to improve the team. Instead of signing Cuddyer in the fall and then basically saying “Look, we will (a) deal one of Niese, Gee, and Colon for a prospect or LH reliever, and (b) try to trade for a backup-type guy to keep Flores honest at SS” the real stars of management again think outside the box.

    I don’t particularly like that Donaldson deal for Oakland but I commend Beane on the ability to analyze his team, think outside the box as to ways to improve, and then be so bold as to strike when he sees an opportunity. I feel like Alderson and Co. are basically going to sleepwalk through the remainder of this offseason and just do (a) and (b) as I mentioned above.

    Again, not sure I would have (for example) signed Pablo Sandoval, moved Wright to 1B, and dealt Duda, but I would have at least CONSIDERED IT and I hope the Mets are similarly considering ways to improve their club besides saying (for example) “We need to sign or trade for a LH reliever to team with Edgin to balance the ‘pen.”

  10. david December 2, 2014 at 7:52 pm
    I m not upset about the Mets passing on Cruz or Thomas but share others’ frustration at the Mets failure to make a single BIG trade since I cannot remember when – Mike Piazza? I can’t tell if Sandy is weak, or Jeff Wilpon has him a tight leash but either way they – management and ownership – appear impotent. Sure the team is “headed in the right direction” but they could easily trade a third of the starting lineup as far as I am concerned as long as we got talent back. All the talk about being in a good position to swing a deal seems empty. Where is the risk / reward mentality?
  11. Murder Slim December 2, 2014 at 8:04 pm
    As ever, I’m more positive on the state of the Mets than other people. I figure them as an 81 win team at the moment.
    My frustration is that signing Han-Ram and Tomas would have led to at least 6 more wins. I like the Cuddyer signing, but he’s essentially a strong fourth outfielder/kinda utility guy (and it’ll be nice to see him spell for Duda and Granderson) on a championship team. I’m not remotely upset over Cruz, but the other guys would have helped.
    It’ll be interesting to see if the Mets come out with the “Once bitten, twice shy” line and refer to Kaz Matsui, saying that they don’t know if Tomas is the finished product. Well, at the cost he was signed for, it would have been a reasonable risk with high upside. And, as with Han-Ram, signing for a losing team means the Mets wouldn’t have to pay much more than the Sox and D-Backs.
    The further frustration is the Mets seem $20m from being a contender. Dump Murph to save some dough, dump EY (much as I like the guy) then fill gaps. But what do I know… I’m still hoping they sign Drew at SS and he shows everyone what he’s really capable of over a full season.
    • argonbunnies December 2, 2014 at 9:42 pm
      You may be more positive and patient, but our assessments aren’t that far apart. You see an 81-win team, I see an 80-win team; whatever. The thing I’m pessimistic about is bridging the gap from 80 or 81 wins to the playoffs. How do you see that happening? (I’m sure we agree that Drew isn’t an 8-win player.)
  12. Murder Slim December 2, 2014 at 10:43 pm
    I have to see it through a trade… and a big one. If Drew brings a couple of wins, I think the Mets’ brass expect a series of minor miracles where everyone performs above this year. I expect Wright and Legares to improve. But c’mon.
    I’m VERY wary of Harvey being some elixir. The poor guy’s been injured for a year, and he’s suddenly expected to be a Cy Young winner?
    It seems clear the Mets will trade a pitcher for a second-tier position player. I don’t think that’s enough to make the playoffs. It is genuinely frustrating because they are close and I’m not sold on the Braves, Marlins or Phillies. In fact, the whole of the NL seems to be in a holding pattern so now would be a good time to strike.
    I see the Mets as a solid, competitive team next year. And, of course, I’ll save the tears until the end of Spring training. They have to do something before then… surely? Perhaps this is some fantastic bargaining tactic. I just wish they’d used the same tactics to sign Tomas at the same rate as the D-Backs.
    • argonbunnies December 3, 2014 at 3:25 am
      Big trade, eh? What about this:

      Duda, Wheeler, Rosario, Colon and $5 mil for Paul Goldschmidt and Didi Gregorius.

  13. Joe Janish December 3, 2014 at 1:32 am
    To DanSchneck:

    First off, what happened to DaveSchneck? Are you his brother?

    I will be absolutely stunned if the Mets win 85-90 games in 2015 — though, that’s based on my assumption that their “big move” of the winter was Cuddyer.

    Regarding the Royals, I don’t see them as an “outlier” but rather, a “throwback.” They won for the same reasons they won in the 1970s and 1980s: because they played STELLAR defense, they ran the bases better than anyone else — to the point it was a factor opponents had to create strategies to defend against — and they had just enough starting pitching balanced with shutdown relief. Trying to compare the Royals to the Mets is comparing apples to hand grenades. Defense, fundamentals, and speed are HUGE once again, and can be a point of differentiation / dominance if done significantly better than everyone else. Those elements are not as romantic and not as obvious as slugging and pitchers who rack up Ks, but when used together, are lethal. The Mets are nowhere near elite in defense (outside of Lagares) and have absolutely no one who can run the bases with above-average skill. They do have “good enough” starting pitching and a bullpen that did fairly well last year, but that’s where the comparison to KC ends.

    A cohesive club that wins “ugly” — i.e., executing the little things — is created by design and with extensive planning. KC, Baltimore, St. Louis, and Cincinnati were far and away the best defensive clubs, across all metrics. Three of those four teams were able to put together just enough offense to be among the MLB elite and make the postseason (watch out for Cincinnati — if they maintain their stellar defense and Votto is healthy in 2015 they may just surprise everyone).

    In contrast, the Mets are clearly not focusing on defense and fundamentals — otherwise, we wouldn’t see Duda and Murphy on the right side of the infield and Cuddyer/Granderson manning the outfield corners. They’ll have to out-slug their deficiencies — and that seems to be the plan, based on Sandy Alderson’s past history and his public statements.

    It’s not fair to look at the Royals as a “surprise” team and think the Mets can emulate their success simply by pointing out a few random similarities, because at their cores, the two teams were planned and operated with very different agendas. For example, will ANY Met steal as many as 15 bases next year? Will any everyday player other than Lagares and Wright be considered even an average defender?

  14. DaveSchneck December 3, 2014 at 1:56 pm
    Joe,
    I think I was simply overcome by all the Dans on this site, each of them a fine contibutor.

    My point above was that I think the Mets can be an 85-90 win team without a “big splash” trade, but they certainly aren’t there as currently composed.

    Regarding the Royals, I am in full agreement, and tried to label them as an outlier only regarding my point that the Mets do not need a big splash trade. However, I 110% agree with you about the defense/little things that make a huge difference in the game, and that the Mets are still very weak and getting weaker. That is exactly why then need several moves that upgrade the roster with fundies players, not a Nelson Cruz type bopper that can’t run or field. Regarding the defense, CF is plus plus, 3B should be average and maybe plus, I think Duda can be average at 1B, and I think Grandy can be average in LF. TDA was a disaster in 2014 but I expect him to be better in 2015, so let’s hope for average to slightly minus. Cuddyer will be minus in RF but probably not as bad as the Colorado metrics show. That brings us to 2B, SS, and backup OF…the positions in question right now. MDD and Captain Kirk will bring good leather, so that RH OF bat needs to have some pop and be average or above in the OF. Middle IF will be the key…the combo of Flores/Murphy just too weak on D to go with. They have to upgrade defensively at one of those spot while maintaining as much offense as possible. My bottom line to get to a playoff caliber team, they need to get a high level LHP into the pen, add some D with the backups, and hope they can play like the Royals the last 3 innings.

    • Joe Janish December 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm
      It seems we are on the same plane.

      Unfortunately, it appears the Mets are not. They need to sell tickets, so defense goes to the trash and offense is the focus.

      Personally, I’d love to see an outfield of Kirk, den Dekker, and Lagares — now THAT would be “one of the top OFs in all of baseball” (even without Chris Young). I get the feeling that either den Dekker or Kirk will be gone by Opening Day, but will flourish in a better managed, defense-focused environment — i.e., Baltimore.

      As I’ve mentioned previously in other threads, the LHP in the bullpen doesn’t seem so important to me. They definitely can use another quality arm, regardless of handedness, but it’s hard to project relievers because every year is a tiny sample size and so many inconsistent factors go into their performance (for example, some managers know what they’re doing in regard to rest/recovery, while most don’t; some relievers are limited in their exposure; some get the chance to face lesser hitters; etc.). That said, I don’t think it’s vital the Mets get Andrew Miller so much as they get someone who has raw ability and a past history of success like Bobby Parnell (to join Parnell). I hate to say it, but someone like K-Rod (though not necessarily K-Rod) would be a good fit. Can you say “LaTroy Hawkins”? Oops … maybe the Mets should’ve kept him around.

      • norme December 3, 2014 at 5:34 pm
        Joe, I agree with the idea of a great defensive outfield of Kirk, den Dekker and Lagares. If Alderson could be dissuaded from his slugger search he might be surprised that K,d and L would give the Mets better offense than some think plus the great gloves.

        Personally, I think that Alderson has come to accept the philosophy that making the playoffs can be achieved by crafting a somewhat good team, thus it’s not necessary to gamble (ex: Tomas) and try to shoot for a great team. If a somewhat good team can stay in the race for a wildcard spot, attendance will probably increase and satisfy the Wilpons. Once you get to the playoffs almost anything can happen, especially if your pitching is healthy and effective.

        • Joe Janish December 3, 2014 at 6:13 pm
          Funny, that second paragraph of yours sounds EXACTLY like how the Wilpons operated prior to the Madoff scandal: build a team just good enough for “meaningful games in September,” but stop just short of spending enough to go over the top.

          And if their goal was to sell tickets, that strategy worked perfectly — they set attendance records every year from 2006 to 2008.

        • Vilos December 3, 2014 at 6:14 pm
          Hello
          I dont think the front office is going all in. I think they want to win more games than last year, definately have a winning season and if everything breaks the right way, make a playoff run. But that doesnt mean that they want to go all in.
          Better than going all in, I think they would prefer to see improvement around their ranks, question marks answered and the team consolidating around a core. If they could design a masterplan, they would probably like to win 85-88 in 2015 and above 90 from then on.
          just I thought
        • argonbunnies December 4, 2014 at 4:00 am
          Vilos, I would have very little problem with that plan if they actually shared it with the players and fans. But as is, they’re only setting us up to be disappointed, and for the players to feel like disappointments, by pretending that 2015 is a playoff year.
        • Joe Janish December 4, 2014 at 12:17 pm
          Vilos, when you suggest that the Mets would win above 90 games “from then on,” how long do you think that will last? Looking at the Mets’ current core, their ages, and when contracts expire / players get into free agent years, it doesn’t — to me — look like the Mets have a long window. This idea that the Mets are building toward some kind of extended era of dominance is fallacy. In 2016, David Wright will be 33, Curtis Granderson will be 35, and they’ll be making $36M between them. Add in that Daniel Murphy (if he’s still around) will be a free agent after the year, and that between 2016-2017, just about every current Met will be entering their arbitration years (including Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Travis d’Arnaud, etc.). Do you think the Mets, in 2015 and 2016, will suddenly start generating record-breaking revenues, while also dramatically reducing their debt? Because that’s what will be needed in order to keep all of these players in Flushing. It’s not unlike one of those 5-year or 10-year “interest only” mortgages that were all the rage a few years back — the Mets right now are paying only the “interest” on their young players, and once the arb years arrive, the “monthly payments” on them will skyrocket (assuming they’re going to become as awesome as every Mets fan hopes). Personally, I don’t see how the Mets can increase their current payroll by 50%+ in three years, and that’s what it’s going to take to keep the current players — never mind adding a veteran star to the roster.

          In other words, this strategy of keeping fingers crossed and trying to be just good enough to win 85-88 games is for the long-term — not a short-term step toward a dynasty.

  15. Vilos December 4, 2014 at 2:24 pm
    Hello
    I´m not suggesting what they should do. I´m justing voicing what I think they would like to do. This is mostly based on Alderson´s words here and there for the last couple of years.
    Is this reasonable or posible? its obviously reasonable for an organization to try to sustain success. Its also posible, but for all the reasons Joe points out, its also very difficult.
    It will be interesting to see what the Mets do in the years to come. I think that a couple of winning seasons will lift attendance dramatically, and that is the first goal. How they handle their young pitchers and their upcoming contracts is the difficult part. Alderson has said he wants a flexible cost base. This means he wants contracts with different rates, different time spands, different options etc This sounds interestng, but obviously, its not enough to assure sustainability. The whole payroll will have to rise from the current small market sub 100 to a New York market mid 200´s. (LOL by myself as I write)
    Were talking a couple of years down the road, so its nothing to get worked up about, but thats my guess as to where Alderson is looking and trying to convince the Wilponzis either follow or sell high and get out.
    Now that sounds nice, doesnt it?