The No Good, Horrible, Very Bad Day

What a difference a year makes. Last August 1 the Mets had just acquired one of the best hitters in the game, had seen a long-time organizational player shed tears over the prospect of leaving and most importantly, were in the process of sweeping a moribund divisional leader, propelling themselves (and us) into a memorable and long post season run that would last all the way to November 1.

This year?

Let me count the ways I hate the Jay Bruce trade. First there’s Bruce the player. He doesn’t really do much well. He’s slow, he has occasional power, he strikes out too much, doesn’t get on base enough and is a bad fielder. Some of his inflated offensive stats can be attributed to playing in the Great American Ballpark. In his defense, he is having a pretty good year so far. The Mets have been historically bad this season with RISP, so perhaps he helps.

Then there’s the trade itself. The Mets acquired Bruce for second baseman Dilson Herrera. As recently as last winter, the Mets were calling Herrera the second baseman of the future, which apparently justified letting the 2016 NL batting champ Daniel Murphy go. What made them change their minds and trade Murphy’s heir apparent for a player who doesn’t hit as well as Murphy? Long-time readers of this blog will no doubt recall the distain heaped on the Mets Front Office prior to the incredible hot streak they went on in late July. This type of shenanigans certainly recalls some of the bad old days of Met Front Office follies–short sided player moves, shoehorning square pegs into round holes and dealing under (while entirely denying) financial restraints.

Speaking of financial restraints, there is also a grim foreboding about next year baked somewhere in this move. Does the arrival of Bruce signal the eventual departure of Yoenis Cespedes? Bruce has another year on his deal, Cespedes can opt out this winter. I shudder to think of an outfield next year of Bruce in right, the suddenly unreliable Michael Conforto in left and the depleted Curtis Granderson in center. It could happen.

The Mets also brought back Jon Niese from Pittsburgh in a trade for Antonio Bastardo. One of the best names in Met history, Bastardo just never clicked here. I wonder what kind of reception Niese is getting in the clubhouse after he made a few pointed comments about his teammates on his way out last December.

Finally, the Mets lost to the Yankees (of all teams) in 10 innings last night 6-5. Channeling his inner Wilmer Flores, AAAA player Matt Reynolds hammered a three run homer off the entirely ineffective CC Sabathia, giving the Mets a brief lead that the otherwise reliable Addison Reed coughed up two innings later. The Mets dynamic bullpen duo of Reed and Jeurys Familia suddenly look very vulnerable.

And that is probably the most foreboding sign of them all.

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. Joe Gomes August 2, 2016 at 1:23 pm
    Jay Bruce is the wrong player at the wrong position at the wrong time which is why the resident Genius in his own mind, has been, overrated GM made the trade.

    Imagine this, Mets don’t bring Murphy back because they had the “2B of the future” in Dilson Herrera. Now they trade him for a Duda type player in the OF. He can’t run, strikes a ton and is not part of the future.

    Had the idiot GM been thinking outside the box, maybe he could have given a minimal prospect for Yansiel Puig in the hope that Cespedes could help him become the player he should be. You know, 2 Cubanos with missile arms in LF and RF. But nooooooo, lets get younger and more athletic buy getting Bruce Almighthy.

    For 2017, we will now have 2 useless contracts, Granderson and Bruce. You can’t make this manure up but the Mets have a special blender where they mix it in order to feed it to the fans.

  2. david August 2, 2016 at 7:59 pm
    I don’t think Herrera is the next coming of Joe Morgan and the Mets have options at 2nd base so let’s not get too carried away at the sight of trading away a top prospect to get a legitimate major league player. Until Herrera learns how to get on base and steal more bases, he is likely to be average or slightly above average. I can easily see the Mets using Cecchini or Reynolds at 2nd with little difference in the offensive performance. Defensively I can’t really say much having not seem them all play the position frequently; Herrera did look good with his quick feet and hands.

    As for Bruce, I see the Mets dealing Granderson this offseason. I think he is carrying a thumb injury from the off-season and father time is catching up to one of the true class acts in baseball. He is not worthy at this point of a starting job in RF. Will he bounce back in 2017 = let’s hope so, and let’s hope others think so because we need to trade him or make him the 4th OF.

    As for Reed and Familia, the odds and overuse are catching up with them. Didi’s hit was a bloop and Blevins did them in with the walk. If the Mets are smart they’d make Niese the 5th starter and put Verrett back in the pen. In a month we can call up Walters, Smoker, etc and the pen will get a breather but expect more trouble in August protecting leads.

    Finally, a silver lining of dealing Herrera is we kept the Wyoming Kid. He just may have a better career ahead of him than Herrera but, as with all prospects, its guesswork.

  3. DaveSchneck August 2, 2016 at 11:37 pm
    I think the 2017 concerns are a bit premature. The Mets hold team options on both Bruce at $13 million and Niese at $10 million. These aren’t exactly bargains, but the aren’t unreasonable either, so it affords insurance and options.

    As for the acquisitions helping the 2016 team, I see them as ok but far from optimal. Bruce is flawed and one-dimensional, but he does hit the long ball and drive in runs. Yes there is a glut of LH corner OF, but that will work itself out. I see Grandy as the odd man out, and as much as I like him, he has clearly earned the demotion.

    Lastly, Mr. Hererra well could develop into a solid MLB player and even an all-star, but he is no sure thing and they gave up from an area of organizational strength. I agree with the above comment the keeping Nimmo right now is a plus.

    I will focus on 2016 for now, and despite Monday night’s loss being particularly brutal, tonight’s game was a nice bounce back.