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 Communications Coordinator. He is married, lives in Bethlehem PA and has a 10-year-old son who unfortunately roots for the Phillies.
Browsing All Posts By Dan Capwell

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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Gee for Dee?

It’s Day Three of the Winter Meetings and I’ll bet Mets GM Sandy Alderson can’t wait for this afternoon’s daily rumor-squelching conference with the media. I wonder how he felt about the need to suppress Mathew’s rumor candy about Noah Syndergaard for Jurickson Profar. Bad enough he has to deal with Jeffy. Now he also has to muffle his youthful in-house shill.

I gotta hand it to Alderson. He is unflinchingly staying the course. The angst amongst the faithful is palpable as the Winter Meetings wrap up and once again, the Mets are spectators. 2015 should be year “the plan” bears fruit (although I still think 2016 is the first season they really contend). It would be real easy, one would think, to cave into the pressure from the fanbase and the many media sources and bust a move or two. The problem is that some of these moves look smart in December and really dumb by August. Think Lucas Duda for Matt Joyce, or the passel of other rumors about Duda soon on the move last winter.

Dillon Gee is this year’s Duda. The most prominent rumor has him going to Texas for INF Luis Sardinas. Really? Check out Sardinas’ slash line. Ruben Tejada V2 anyone? Plus, the Mets shouldn’t be so quick to run Gee out of town. While he isn’t as flashy or as personable as some of their other arms, he probably ranks around #6 on the rotational depth chart right now.  Remember, of the guys ahead of him, one is coming off of major arm surgery, two others are candidates for the same procedure, the fourth was a rookie (albeit an impressive one) last year and the fifth is 41 years old. Behind him are mostly untested arms with mixed minor league results. Gee represents something of an insurance policy, a semi-valuable asset, especially for a team that in their own words, fancies itself a contender next season.

If Sandy is indeed hell-bent on trading Gee,  he should ask his LA counterpart if is there is any truth to the Dee Gordon rumor. Long a fave of this board, Gordon had a semi-breakout last year, before tailing off (likely due to over-exposure) in the second half of the season. Gee has a higher career WAR than Gordon, but this move saves the Mets a potential $4M in salary. Gordon represents an upgrade over the departed Eric Young Jr. At 26 Gordon is three years younger than EYJ and has out-slashed him over his career. He gives the bench the speed element it needs. His presence would support, without upsetting, the Wilmer Flores/Daniel Murphy middle infield apple cart. It really appears that Flores is the starting shortstop in 2015. If he bombs, they will have to go outside the organization and more than likely sacrifice a pitching prospect to get a replacement.

This trade and the rumored acquisition of former Lehigh Valley Iron Pig John Mayberry Jr. would give the Mets a few different options for their 2015 bench. If Gordon and Mayberry are added, there are potentially eight players vying for five spots. Most of these guys have options, meaning they could be stashed in Vegas and called back up when needed. A versatile, deep bench is an often overlooked component on the type of team the Mets recently have talking themselves up as.

Speaking of talking, it’s your turn.

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Motte the Met and Other Musings

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  The arrival of the holiday season also means that right on time, the hot stove is blazing away. The Mets offseason acquisitions are once again likely to be of the smaller type, as GM Sandy Alderson and his brain trust appear fully confident that last year’s 79-win team only needs some minor tweaking to blossom into a contender.

Since it is Thanksgiving, we’ll use a restaurant analogy: unlike the Boston Red Sox, we won’t be dining at Daniel this offseason. Instead,  we’ll  get to pick from one of the many options at the Bergen Mall food court.

Recent Metsblog speculation has the Mets interested in former Cardinal closer Jason Motte. This is one of Matthew’s more intriguing rumors.  After a brilliant 2012 season, including a league-leading 42 saves, Motte missed all of 2013 following TJS. His 2014 was a lost season and observers noted that his 2014 velocity was down at least 3 MPH over 2012 (a cautionary tale for Matt Harvey). However even at partial strength, he held lefty batters to a .211 BA, even lower than his career norm. Yes, I know, small sample size.

If and it’s a big if, Motte can return to the pre-surgery form, he gives the Mets a formidable late inning arm. He also has a cool beard and has done some good charity work. Any hey, he used to be a catcher, which counts for something, at least on this blog! Alderson can probably get him for cheap. He should try.

Besides Motte, here are some other names associated with our team lately:

  • Craig Breslow: On the surface, he is a better choice than Motte, as he is the epitome of the LOOGY they need. He’s a New York guy, but then so was Nelson Figueroa. He really fell off a cliff last year and will turn 35 during the season.  Just my own gut feeling, but I think Breslow is done and I would rather take a chance on Motte, who if nothing else, has a much bigger upside.
  • Jonny Gomes: For openers, he is an ex-Padre and ex-Athletic, which is the type of player that Alderson likes to acquire. He was one of the heroes of Boston’s 2013 World Championship team and does bring many intangibles with his game. Caution: his 2014 performance dipped as the year wore on and he has put up a below average slash line for two consecutive years. He might be a fun guy to have around, but either Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Matt den Dekker are likely to outhit him (albeit from the other side of the plate) at this stage of his career.
  • Ryan Ludwick: Another ex-Padre, he OPS’d .683 for the Reds last year. Hard to believe he is 36 already. He is at the top of this class of outfielders, which is somewhat akin to being the top of the Delta pledge class in Animal House.
  • Delino DeShields Jr.: Here is an excellent article on some of the players available in this year’s Rule V draft. Before parenthood and career responsibilities occupied more real estate in my brain, I spent a lot of time delving into that draft, so I appreciate that someone has picked up the banner. Experience reminds us that for every Johan Santana  left unprotected, there’s also a Brad Emaus, a Pedro Beato, a Doug Simons or a Mike Draper out there just waiting to clog up a roster spot.
  • Daniel Murphy to the Giants? I have also read and heard speculation that the San Francisco Giants’ loss of Kung Fu Panda to the Red Sox has them eyeing Murphy to play third base. In reality, I would think that Murphy is somewhat way down on the Giants list of options; plus any deal is likely predicated on the Mets first acquiring a shortstop and sliding Wilmer Flores over to second. Hard to decide which of these  scenarios is the more unlikely.

At the end of the offseason, we will probably have to be satisfied with the additions of Ludwick/Gomes/Breslow or Motte, along with Michael Cuddyer and a healthy  Harvey. Would that work for you? Or do you have a Murphy to the Giants trade proposal? How about a realistic one for a shortstop? Let’s hear it.

 

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The Cuddyer Signing: Like It or Loathe It?

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I am somewhere in the middle on this one. ICYMI, the Mets signed Colorado outfielder Michael Cuddyer yesterday. Didn’t see that coming.

Interesting tidbit: then-prospect Cuddyer was one of the Twins rumored to be coming back to the Mets in the ill-fated Rick Reed for Matt Lawton trade in 2001.

What I like about this signing is that on paper at least, Cuddyer becomes the Mets jack of all trades, filling in at left, right, first and third base. The team’s bench was thinner than the meat sliced at my local deli (sorry, love) for most of last year, so this gives Terry Collins additional options. It allows Collins to pick spots for Lucas Duda and the current or future outfield prospects. By all accounts, Cuddyer is a solid citizen. He is besties with David Wright and we all know about David’s reputation. Most importantly, the Mets added a bat without sacrificing any pitching prospects.

On the downside, Cuddyer is quite long in the tooth and is coming off an injury plagued 2014 campaign. If the team’s budget is indeed that tight, they probably have squandered resources better applied elsewhere. It is interesting how back loaded his two-year deal is. I guess this means that they won’t be resigning Daniel Murphy or Bartolo Colon past 2015. He also cost them their #1 2015 draft pick, but IMO, the bellyaching about that is somewhat unfair, considering the shape of the Mets farm system and the time it takes to develop prospects. Remind me again, what round was Jacob deGrom drafted in?

This signing probably means either Eric Young Jr.’s or Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ days at a Met are numbered.

Met fans in the post-2006 era have been conditioned to expect the worst. For us the worst could run to either extreme, (a) being that the Cuddyer signing represents the centerpiece of their offseason remake and that he is penciled in for 600 at bats. Or (b) the early signing signals that the team is about to embark on a “damn-the-torpedoes-full-speed-ahead” philosophy and the next move is a multiple pitching prospect deal for all of Troy Tulowitzki’ s salary.

So how about you? Like this signing or hate it? Let’s hear it.

And Happy Veterans Day to all who served or who are serving.

 

 

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