The Hip…Or The Wallet?

So I went to bed last night, thinking that the Mets had finally acquired the ideal player for their lineup and their stadium and at the cost of a pitcher I have long advocated moving, along with an underwhelming middle infielder.

Imagine my chagrin this morning.

And I can’t help but thinking that Carlos Gomez‘ hip has nothing to do with this trade falling through.

Maybe its the same DNA that makes me a Mets fan, but I wonder if someone in the Met ownership box did a quick calculation and decided that Gomez is too rich for their blood.  If that’s the case, we have come to the turning point of the 2015 season; a figurative Mike Scioscia  Game 3 homer to  all of the work done by the players, the manager and the coaching staff and even the much maligned front office to get to this point.  Looking at Sandy Alderson’s press conference being re-run on TBN this morning, I could shake the feeling that he has returned from vacation and replaced the Body Double that stood in for him this past week.

Yes, I know there are still 40-plus hours left to get a deal done. And this probably means that you, like me, will be constantly refreshing whatever website you frequent, hoping for news of another move. But brace yourselves for disappointment, as I think we have seen the true nature of this ownership and the front office. We’ve gotten close and there is genuine excitement about this team again. If an inability or unwillingness to take on a major league contract is the real reason why Gomez isn’t a Met, then our hopes for a turnaround have taken a serious and potentially permanent hit.

Here’s to us.



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. Jon C July 30, 2015 at 10:25 am
    With all due respect, this conspiracy theory makes no sense.

    You could be right about the hip not being the real reason

    More likely the brewers backed out due to wheelers injury, and the mets tried to spin it the other way. Or were insulted that the details and extent of wheelers injury were leaked.

    You’re not breaking up with me, I’m breaking up with you!

    • Jon C July 30, 2015 at 9:13 pm
      I’m not sure if we still have all the facts, but I do need to apologize to Dan because apparently this was not nearly as out there as I thought…

      I’m thinking more along the lines that they saw something in the medical records that they thought they could use to their advantage to get more concessions from the brewers, and overplayed their hand

      But its hard to argue that Dan’s rationale is a crazy conspiracy theory given all the stories floating around today…there has to be at least some reasonable chance that the wilpons just up and killed the deal

      • Extragooey July 31, 2015 at 3:38 pm
        Where are all these stories? Any with evidence? From reputable source?
  2. friend July 30, 2015 at 10:42 am
    Sandy Alderson has seen his shadow, foreboding six more years of winter (lose-ter?)!
  3. Extragooey July 30, 2015 at 11:22 am
    LOL, you guys think these deals are made with the same nonchalant, indifferent, lack of higher level brain function that people use to choose muffins or bagels for breakfast? I can see myself wanting a muffin instead of a bagel at the deli counter so therefore yah, I can see the teams backing out at the last minute. Sure, anything is possible, but I doubt it.
  4. DanS July 30, 2015 at 11:51 am
    The Milwaukee papers are writing—and this is straight from Doug Melvin—that the Mets (a) wanted the Brewers to take Lugares, who has a $23 million extension kicking in next year, Brewers said no; (b) throw in a competitive balance pick, no again; (c) put some money on the table toward Gomez’s remaining contract obligations. Strike three and no deal. Nice if the Mets would have said, we couldn’t make the finances work. Yawn, and move on. Are other GMs going to b in a hurry to deal with Alderson this week? You tell me.
    • argonbunnies July 31, 2015 at 6:37 am
      Yikes. The Mets went from wanting to extend Lagares 4 months ago to trying to get rid of him now because $5.6 mil/yr for his age 27-30 seasons is a burden? That’s quite a fall.
  5. Extragooey July 30, 2015 at 11:59 am
    Those sound like the earlier steps of negotiations, not what killed the deals. Deals leaked as completed usually are completed pending physicals.
    • argonbunnies July 31, 2015 at 6:34 am
      Yeah. And yet… Gomez is healthy and the Mets backed out anyway.

      Do you have a better explanation for that than the ones being thrown around here?

      • Extragooey July 31, 2015 at 12:02 pm
        Oh I don’t know…. Maybe what is bring reported? I’m probably naive and all for believing ESPN instead of conjectures arrived from what fans think they know of the Wilpons and their ways.

        Is Gomez healthy? According to Boras? According to the Astros? Medical opinions vary based on the same sets of facts (X-rays, MRIs, medical exams, etc.), that’s why we get second opinions. It could very well be that the Met doctors arrived at “not worth the risk” and the Astros took the risk. The term “healthy” can mean different things to different people.

        • argonbunnies July 31, 2015 at 5:56 pm
          Well, the quotes from Melvin were reported too, and you were skeptical that those told the whole story. All that was reported on the Mets is that they SAID they were concerned about the hip. I believe that report, but it says nothing about whether the hip was the REAL reason.

          It would surprise me if the Mets doctors said “Not worth the risk” and the Astros doctors said “So much worth the risk that we should give up Phillips and Santana” (ironically, two of the guys I wanted to trade Wheeler for). But you’re right, it’s certainly possible.

        • Extragooey July 31, 2015 at 6:11 pm
          No, I wasn’t skeptical about Melvin’s quotes, just that they were what nixed the deal. It was reported the Mets pulled the plug on an already agreed upon deal. So those quotes from Melvin just didn’t seem like they were describing an already agreed upon deal.

          Cespedes is coming. Gave up Fullmer. Not sure if Fulmer or Wheeler is the better one to keep. Either way, Fulmer is gone and Cespedes is coming. Hope he hits closer to his rookie year than years 2 and 3. Send Conforto down and when Cuddyer returns, he’s the 4th outfielder with the occasional start at 1st. I would platoon Legares and Kirk as well.

        • argonbunnies July 31, 2015 at 6:30 pm
          Yeah, I’m not sure on Fulmer vs Wheeler either. Wheeler has shown more good, and also more bad.

          Agreed on that OF configuration, unless Cespedes can play a solid CF.

          Cespedes is streaky, and hot right now. Let’s hope it lasts…

  6. Dan Capwell July 30, 2015 at 12:38 pm
    It’s breaking out all over now–but you read it here first!
  7. JMan July 30, 2015 at 2:39 pm
    This conspiracy theory makes you sound like a buffoon, to be honest.

    Do you honestly think a deal would get agreed to and this far down the path without understanding the finances involved? Shows a glaring amount of naivete as to how the transaction world works. I echo what

  8. JMan July 30, 2015 at 2:40 pm
    Extragooey said.
  9. Dan Capwell July 30, 2015 at 3:00 pm
    Who said anything about a conspiracy? This is clearly a case of cold feet on the part of the Wilpons, a kind of baseball buyer’s remorse if you will. The trade news made it all the way onto their broadcast booth. This was no internet rumor. If you have been following this team for any length of time you really can’t be too surprised by this.

    Alderson has 25 hours left to undo the damage.

  10. DanB July 30, 2015 at 4:00 pm
    The trade would of been horrible if Gomez spent September on the DL. However the two previous will be wasted if the Mets don’t get a bat. Lots of pressure now on Alderson. Next few days will be fun, a change from previous trading deadlines.
  11. DanB July 30, 2015 at 4:04 pm
    By the way, Jeff Wilpon has a history of canceling midseason trades. Wouldn’t surprise me, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was the hip.
  12. Extragooey July 30, 2015 at 4:14 pm
    Which midseason trades that have been leaked as completed has he canceled?
    • JMan July 30, 2015 at 5:42 pm
      Let him go, he’s on a roll!
    • DanB July 31, 2015 at 6:06 am
      One I specifically remember was in 2007 when Omar had a trade for a reliever but Wilpon cancelled it. He said he preferred to wait for Orlando Hernandez to come off the DL. I believe there were others but I don’t remember the specifics. He has been blamed by insiders for the general lack of movement by the Mets near trading deadlines.
      • Extragooey July 31, 2015 at 12:22 pm
        Can you be more specific? This is actually a serious inquiry on my part as I’m very curious on what deals exactly he’s blocked. Especially considering no financial issues back in 2007.
        • DanB July 31, 2015 at 1:23 pm
          Sorry, I am at work, no time. There were financial issues in 2007. Mets made a lot of money by depositing preseason money (season tickets, TV and radio sales, etc) into Madolf accounts and withdrew them later to pay bills. Mets didn’t like to spend money in season as it did generate Madolf profits to that degree. However, not all of Wilpon”s meddling was financial. I have read instances of him making bad decisions for other reasons. Look at how many bad PR moves they make.
        • Extragooey July 31, 2015 at 1:46 pm
          The Mets payroll in 2007 was 115,231,663, 3rd in the majors. It went up to 137,793,376, 2nd in the majors. They spent money.
        • DanB July 31, 2015 at 2:15 pm
          You misunderstood. I didn’t mean they had no money to spend, I meant how they spent money was complicated. Mets wanted preseason revenue which they could deposit. One dollar made in January was $1.20 by the end of the season (or so, depending on what Madolf was paying). If money spent in the off season generated extra income, it was worth spending. Money spent mid season didn’t generate revenue that could be deposited with Madolf. That is one reason ( I am sure there are others) why the Mets rarely added payroll midseason during the Madoff years. However, it is not just finacial decissions. have never read positive comments about Jeff Wilpon’s management on any level.
        • Extragooey July 31, 2015 at 2:34 pm
          You do know that corporation finances are more complicated than personal finances. Decisions to spend don’t always reflect what you have in the bank account. In fact, even personal finances rely heavily on credit, which certainly corporations like the Mets must utilize. Banks and loans pretty much make your argument about pre-season or mid-season arguments moot no?
        • DanB August 1, 2015 at 7:46 pm
          I don’t blame if you don’t believe a nameless/faceless guy on the internet. I have no insiders with the Mets. I haven’t even discussed this with financial analysists that I know. However, I did not create these theories. They were first offered by business writers. Google Mets financial situation and search around. Certainly the spending by the Mets in the offseason and midseason is public record as is the pattern that I described of deposits and withdrawals from Madoff accounts. As far as Met credit goes, the Wilpons seem to have had problems over the years with loans and credit regarding the Mets. They had major loans that were coming due that they had to refinanced. Their attempts to sell off shares of the team and the emergency loan they received from MLB does not reflect well. Again, I do not have access to their inner workings, but from a far it looks unusual.
        • Extragooey August 1, 2015 at 11:45 pm
          You can be a world famous financial analyst, or a namlesse/faceless guy, I can care less. As long as there’s credible evidence behind your argument, I’ll believe you. If not, I won’t. You can always find evidence to support any far-fetched theory if you look hard enough. If you believe in something strong enough, you can always find “evidence” to support it. Whether it’s good evidence or not is the question.

          If I remember correctly, the credit issues only started after Madoff scandal came out.

        • Joe Janish August 2, 2015 at 4:54 pm
          It doesn’t take long to google search the evidence DanB is talking about — it was on WSJ among other legit sites.

          And as you point out, gooey, you can always find evidence to support any far-fetched theory — as well as pooh-pooh any evidence to defend relatives and/or country club buddies. What so far is “far-fetched” by the way?

          Eh, why do I bother? May as well argue politics or religion with you. It’ll go nowhere and you’ll continue to believe what you want to believe and I’m not changing my mind, either. I don’t like the ownership to the point it has made me be completely indifferent to the club, and you continually defend it. Agree to disagree, as usual.

        • Extragooey August 2, 2015 at 6:29 pm
          Well, you don’t have to respond to me you know.

          Yeah, don’t follow and don’t watch. There’s nothing to see here. There’s nothing you’ll miss.

        • Joe Janish August 2, 2015 at 10:02 pm
          “There’s nothing you’ll miss.”

          Agreed 100%

        • DanB August 2, 2015 at 7:32 pm
          As I have read it, the credit issues were created by the way the Mets financed the new stadium and SNY and have very little to do with Madoff. The loans had balloon payments of sorts which the Mets had to either payoff or refinance. Either the Mets thought the Madoff profits would continue or the value of the team and SNY would increase more then it did. Either way, it probally negatively effected payroll more then Madoff since these balloon payments were much larger then the Madoff grab back the Wilpons had to pay.
        • Extragooey August 2, 2015 at 11:03 pm
          Well, if you have a large debt (from the new stadium), and then the Madoff scandal happens, of course you will now have credit issues. The issues arise from not being able to pay the debt. So yes, it has to do with Madoff. The Mets, as well as their creditors, were counting on their continuing income from the Madoff investment. When those dried up after the scandal came to light, they had problems paying their debts and well as taking out new loans.

          I’ve been googling “Mets financial situation” “Mets financial problem” before 11/30/08 and there are no relevant hits. According to Wiki the Madoff scandal broke in December 2008. There was a Forbes article saying the Mets raised $613 million in bond sales to raise the money to pay for their share of Citi Field. Hardly indicative of a team in financial problems.

  13. Dan Capwell July 30, 2015 at 4:22 pm
    See the game today? What fun. This team is D-O-N-E.
  14. DaveSchneck July 30, 2015 at 6:17 pm
    Excuse me for being Captain Obvious but this has not been a good week for the Mets…so far. Winning the Nat series is an absolute must. Even so, I would not give up assets for a rental. Save them for the winter. Alderson will need every single trading chip as he will likely need to overpay any trading partner given his ever shrinking reputation in MLB combined with Jeffy’s wild popularity.
  15. david July 30, 2015 at 9:15 pm
    One more piece of evidence to prove the Mets are a poorly run business, and that when you give your son the keys to the car there is always a chance he will crash it.

    For those that don’t believe there is a connection between what happens off the field and on the field, look at today’s replay. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    Team still has a shot at the playoffs, with or without Gomez. Let’s see if they can put this disaster behind them.

    • argonbunnies July 31, 2015 at 6:41 am
      Yikes. In three appearances, Familia’s save percentage has gone from “elite” to “anyone could do that”. My 82-win prediction centered on Familia’s continuing great year compensating in part for Wright’s continued absence. I may have to revise downward…
    • Extragooey July 31, 2015 at 12:20 pm
      So junior Wilpon runs the Mets badly and led to the collapse in yesterday’s game. So since the game was mostly blown by Familia and Parnell, they should never have been on the team? Junior Wilpon’s badly run business led the Mets to sign or draft Parnell and Familia when they should have no business doing that. I’m just trying to follow the logic.
      • argonbunnies July 31, 2015 at 6:02 pm
        The logic is that employees are embarrassed and dispirited to be playing for cruel and/or incompetent bosses, and this impacts their performance.

        I’m not a huge fan of that logic myself, but at least it’s not as ridiculous as your stab at David’s thoughts.

        On the positive side, supposing that logic were true, the Mets players should be excited and ready to play well now that they’ve been given Cespedes!

        • Extragooey July 31, 2015 at 6:12 pm
          Yeah, I’m sure Familia and Parnell were both thinking that last night.
        • argonbunnies July 31, 2015 at 6:27 pm
          My guess is that Familia was thinking, “Man, this ball is wet. Why did the umps resume this game when we only had 3 minutes of dryness to play in?”

          As I said, not a huge fan of the “bad boss” logic. I don’t think it’s inconceivable, though, that players don’t do their best work when something negative is going on at the workplace, such as a spectacle being made of one of your buddies.

        • argonbunnies July 31, 2015 at 6:43 pm
          And I don’t know WHAT Plawecki and Robles were thinking trying to dot the outside edge at the belt with a fastball that runs back in on righties. Terrible pitch in that situation. Robles has done that a bit, and I’d be happy to see Verrett replace him.
      • david July 31, 2015 at 6:39 pm
        Ok Goo, I may be drawing a long bow in connecting the meltdown yesterday to the embarrassment the night before especially since they scored 7 runs which for that team is an offensive explosion.

        Chalk it up to long suffering Metsfanitis.

        • Extragooey August 1, 2015 at 2:48 am
          Thanks for the admission and I appreciate the honesty. We all react emotionally. Just trying to dispel many of the unfounded perception as reality that’s prevalent around here.
  16. MetsFan62 July 31, 2015 at 10:54 am
    I think the possibility that Scott Bores, agent for Gomez, suggested (demanded?) from Alderson a contract extension or some other item? Ticked off Alderson so he nixed the deal. knowing Boris I wouldn’t be surprised…..
    • Dan42 July 31, 2015 at 2:18 pm
      What leverage would he have to do that?
      • argonbunnies July 31, 2015 at 6:04 pm
        No official leverage, but then, Boras had no official leverage when he got Manny to give up on the Sox in ’08 for not extending him.

        I don’t think a similar scenario is likely, though; Gomez isn’t Manny.

      • MetsFan62 July 31, 2015 at 7:52 pm
        No leverage at all, Boris just being Boris, hoping Alderson would bite, or nix the trade so Gomez could go where Boris would have more leverage. It was just a thought on my part. Boris enjoys poking his finger in someone’s gut just to aggravate.
  17. argonbunnies August 1, 2015 at 5:25 pm
    Unless the Mets were feeling a 2016 budget crunch from Gomez’s $9 mil salary next year (which I doubt), I think the Cespedes trade effectively disproves this theory. The Mets weren’t being cheap.

    They were probably just being skittish about the same medical reports that got the Astros to give up two top OF prospects. We’ll see who was right in the long run… Maybe Wheeler puts it all together in 2017 and the Mets look like geniuses for refusing to take anything less than a 100% risk-free Gomez for him.

    • Extragooey August 1, 2015 at 11:21 pm
      Well, I suspect if you believe that theory, you’d believe that 9 million may be enough for the Wilpons to pull the deal. Now, if the Mets had gotten Jay Bruce instead, then it blows that theory up completely.
    • Joe Janish August 2, 2015 at 4:45 pm
      The Mets don’t want any commitments beyond this year. The Gomez deal was based on dumping Lagares’ salary, and when Jeff found out that wasn’t a reality, he had Alderson pull the plug using the medical excuse.

      Cespedes works because he’s off the books come October.

      • argonbunnies August 3, 2015 at 2:07 pm
        Possible, but unlikely, in my view. It would be pretty random for “beyond this year” to suddenly become the cut-off now, when it wasn’t for Cuddyer, and wouldn’t have been when shedding Lagares. Plus, the Wheeler for Bruce offer also sounded credible to me.

        The combo of Melvin’s quotes plus the Astros deal does make some sort of dishonest bailing sadly plausible, though.

  18. Adrock August 1, 2015 at 8:47 pm
    Granted, we are living in an era of offensive depletion. Even an “elite” hitter like Yoenis Cespedes has trouble cracking a .300 OBP.

    But, hip or no hip, Madoff or no Madoff… the Gomez non-trade might have been a *good* thing. At this point in the season, pushing the dog days of August and pushing age 30, Gomez has just 8 HRs and, as of the day of the non-trade, a sub-par .328 OBP.

    Now compare this with the Mets’ gloriously failed 1992 pennant push, when they brought in a 32-year-old Kevin Bass, he of 7 HRs and a .310 OBP. That didn’t work out too much better for the Mets.

    • Extragooey August 1, 2015 at 11:25 pm
      I wouldn’t call Cespedes an “elite” hitter even with the general depressed offensive numbers. Trout, Harper, Votto, etc. are all still doing it. Cespedes has never been an OBP guy except maybe his first year. The Mets gave up a bunch of good prospects for all rental players. They are pretty much going for it. We’ll see if they make it.
      • Joe Janish August 2, 2015 at 4:43 pm
        A bunch of good prospects? They parted with the equivalent of a ham sandwich for Uribe, Johnson, and Clippard. For Cespedes, two mid-level prospects that may some day be middle relievers.

        They’re going for it? Pass the Kool-Aid. The front office has succeeded in its quest to sell tickets without breaking the bank.

        • crozier August 3, 2015 at 8:31 am
          This Kool-Aid is delicious.

          To date, the Mets have a winning percentage over .700 when they score three runs or more, well above the league average. Johnson, Uribe, and Cespedes, in conjunction with d’Arnaud’s return, have the potential to make a significant offensive difference.

          The Mets made some decent moves, but your criticisms are indistinguishable from those you made in any of the past three years. If that’s your bag, have at it. I’m enjoying meaningful August games. It sure beats the alternative.

        • argonbunnies August 3, 2015 at 2:22 pm
          Yeah, Cessa, Gant and Whalen would go nicely with mustard and cheddar, but Fulmer and Meisner were each in the top 3 remaining Mets prospects at their respective tiers. It’s a significant loss for the farm system (though I can’t speak as to odds for MLB success; both guys are a ways away).

          Taking on $2+ mil (but not the full $3.7 mil those players are earning) for Uribe, Johnson and Clippard doesn’t prove much, but is at least a small investment in winning and/or selling tickets, more than we’ve seen in past years. The shopping of Wheeler, though, and the hunt for Gomez/Bruce/Cespedes, is about as “going for it” as it gets.

          What would be more “going for it”? Given the particular package the Rockies got for Tulo (specifically an above-average replacement SS), very few teams would have any chance of landing Troy, and the Mets weren’t one of them. I have no idea why the Rockies went that route instead of just trying to maximize prospect haul, but they did. Maybe the Wilpons aren’t the only owners who rule according to P.R. concerns.

          If you view the Mets’ activity as more a desire to sell tickets than anything else, well, in this case the same move that sells tickets improves our odds of winning more games and somehow sneaking into the playoffs, so I’ll take it.

          Based on the recent attendance spike, I do hope management’s takeaway isn’t “enter the year with a cheap .500-ish team, add talent mid-season if we’re close enough to sniff the playoffs”. One success does not a pattern make, and if they have any brains at all they’ll look around the game and see that doesn’t pay out very often. I’m hoping that they get inspired by the big turn-outs and want to do what it takes to keep them going, such as actually entering seasons with 90-win teams on paper. We shall see…

        • MetsFan62 August 3, 2015 at 8:37 pm
          Very good point Joe……….
    • crozier August 3, 2015 at 9:20 pm
      Just a point about OBP – it would be nice to see Cespedes get on base more often, sure. Is it a critical quality in a number 3/4 guy? Nope; extra base hits are. So far Cespedes has over 50 of them.

      Whether or not he’s “elite” is academic. I have no doubt he’s going to do his job in producing runs.

  19. John August 2, 2015 at 5:11 pm
    In hindsight, you should probably delete this article. If you look at everything that has transpired since posting this article, you should know by now that you were 100% wrong. Flores’ home run, the Cespedes acquisition. It’s a nice time to be a Mets fan. Let it go.
    • Jim L August 3, 2015 at 9:57 am
      The Mets’ ownership is to blame for Mets fans being suspicious. All that said, it does appear that the Mets were serious about getting an outfield bat. Yes, they wanted a CFer, so they could keep Cuddyer in the lineup, but it is apparent that the are willing to have their biggest off-season acquisition sit AND traded a top 10 prospect in order to improve the lineup. No matter how much you feel that ownership and Sandy have disappointed over the past few years, you cannot deny they made impactful moves and are going for it. Kudos to them (for a change).
  20. argonbunnies August 10, 2015 at 1:47 pm
    Lloyd Carroll in the Queens Chronicle says the following:

    “There has been a lot of speculation as to why the Gomez deal did not happen. Mets sources say the team was ill at ease about medical reports concerning his hips. The Brewers claim the Mets wanted them to absorb more dollars on his existing contract, which runs through 2016.”

    “My sources tell me there is truth on both sides. When the Mets found out about Gomez’s alleged hip issues they still seemed interested in the deal but wanted the Brewers to shoulder more of the financial load than what was originally agreed upon. At that point the folks from Milwaukee told the Mets to stuff it and wound up trading him the next day to the Houston Astros without incident.”

    • Dan42 August 11, 2015 at 10:22 am
      Love the stuff it part, but their extreme luck to get Cespedes could backfire when it comes to filling holes in 16.