Tag: Alderson

Mets Sign Ankiel, Starts Tonight

Rick Ankiel already helped the Mets once – during the 2000 playoffs.  Now they’ll hope he can help them again (in a more traditional sense).

The Mets signed recent Astros castoff Rick Ankiel today.

Terry Collins said the lefty-hitting Ankiel and righty-hitting Juan Lagares will platoon in center field. That’s a blow to Jordany Valdespin, who Collins said may play some second base if Daniel Murphy continues to struggle.

Apart from his arm, Ankiel doesn’t provide much of an upgrade in the outfield.  His last really good offensive season came in 2008, when he hit 28 home runs.  This year, he has a .715 OPS which is less than that of the other left-handed hitting outfielders Mike Baxter and Valdespin.

Looks like Sandy Alderson is trying to catch lightning in a bottle.  Or maybe the team was secretly hijacked by Omar Minaya.

Andrew Brown was optioned to Triple-A.

So there’s that.


Link Roundup: Frank Frank’s Elbow and the Bourn Reaction

The Mets couldn't elbow their way in on Michael Bourn.

The Mets couldn’t elbow their way in on Michael Bourn.

Michael Bourn is an Indian, the Mets still have their 11th overall pick, and Mets fans are reacting.  Many are unhappy that Alderson didn’t sacrifice the pick to make a move that would have signaled New York’s return to the baseball business.  Besides, the only decent player to come out of the 11th overall spot of the Rule 4 draft has been Greg Luzinski (.840 career OPS), so sayeth Deadspin.

But wait a minute – according to this list, players like Andrew McCutchen, Shane Mack, Walt Weiss, and Max Scherzer were once drafted 11th overall.  Last time I checked, these were pretty good ballplayers.  So it’s not like the Mets are automatically going to draft the next Kaz Matsui, right?  Doesn’t picking 11th mean you’re picking the 11th best available amateur ballplayer int he country?

My point is, there’s no guarantee that that slot will be a total black hole, just as there’s no guarantee that it will produce a superstar.

In any event, Bourn clearly would have been an upgrade, but he still wouldn’t have made the Mets better than the Nats and Braves.  Sour grapes?  Maybe.  But the fact remains.

OK, this was supposed to be a link roundup, so here’s more reaction from Twitter.

Now that Bourn is off the market, does that mean the Drew Stubbs watch is on?

In other news, Frank Francisco has been shut down due to elbow inflamation.  How will we ever replace that 5.53 ERA??

Johan Santana spoke to the media this morning in Port St. Lucie and gave his thoughts on R.A. Dickey and whether he has any regrets about the 134-pitch no-hitter.

Finally, Mike Piazza apparently didn’t talk to the media after his book signing, which left the poor little buggers feeling snubbed.


Link Roundup: Now with 20% More Deer Antler Spray

I call him "Rob."

I call him “Rob.”

More PED news impacted Major League Baseball this week, as several players were linked to a dodgy anti-aging clinic in Miami.  Among the players were OF Nelson Cruz, LHP Gio Gonzalez, 3B Alex Rodriguez, OF Melky Cabrera, and RHP Bartolo Colon.  A-Rod, Cabrera, and Colon have all been linked to/suspended for using PEDs in the past, so this isn’t much of a surprise.  But Cruz and Gonzalez are under suspicion for the first time.  Naturally, they issued denials, but it’s so hard not to be skeptical if you are a baseball fan these days.

The good news is, they are under investigation.  The bad news is, PED use is still happening.  Perhaps stiffer penalties are the answer, as Matt Holiday suggested.

Contrary to popular belief, PED use happens in other sports, as evidenced by the alleged use of deer antler spray by Ray Lewis.  If true, that would explain why he came back from his injury so soon, and why he always freezes when he sees headlights.  The media is actually paying attention to this story, but he’ll eventually get a pass (no pun intended), as most NFL players do.

Even golfer Vijay Singh is facing PED accusations!

Sandy Alderson didn’t need PEDs when he talked to season ticket holders on Wednesday night.  During this time he said, “The reason we haven’t spent the money is not because of Fred Wilpon,” he said. “It’s because of me.”  I wonder how much he’s getting paid to throw himself under the bus?  In this blogger’s opinion, he’s covering for the Wilpons, whose ongoing financial catastrophe has been well documented.

In other news, Wilmer Flores had a breakout season in 2012, but where will he ultimately end up in the field?

Bloggers are still buzzing about Banner Day, which has now been moved to May 11, Mike Piazza, and the World Baseball Classic.  Here’s a nice take on all of these subjects by Kerel Cooper.

Pitchers and catchers report in only 12 days, and hope will spring eternal once again.



Link Roundup: Bourn and Marcum

Bourn would bring much needed speed to Flushing.

Bourn would bring much needed speed to Flushing.

Sandy Alderson and the Mets are playing a little chess to try to sign center fielder Michael Bourn.

If the Mets sign Bourn, they’d have to surrender their first round pick, eleventh overall, in the upcoming draft.  Giving up on the 11th best player in the amateur draft is a non-option for a rebuilding team.  To compound the loss, they’d also have to give up their slot money.  But there may be a loophole.  The Pirates couldn’t sign the player they drafted last year, meaning they get the ninth pick overall, even though they had a better record than New York.  Alderson and the Mets are lobbying the league to only give up their second round pick, since technically, they had the tenth worst record in baseball last year.

The players union is behind this request, but the league seems staunchly against it.  In an appearance on MLB Network this morning, Ken Rosenthal said the league’s stance is that the Mets knew the rules when they approved the CBA.

Could the Mets even afford Bourn?  Perhaps on a backloaded deal.  According to Jon Heyman, Bourn and his agent, Scott Boras, are looking for a 5-year deal at $15 million per.  It remains to be seen, but the Mets clearly aren’t going to pull the trigger on this one unless the circumstances are perfect.

The team pulled the trigger on Shaun Marcum, though.  The 30 year-old right-hander made only 3 appearances last year following elbow surgery.  He has a lifetime 3.76 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, and was an underrated member of the Blue Jays rotation before his elbow issues.  It’s a low-risk high-reward move for New York.

In all, the Sandy and his Nerd Herd appear mostly focused on building from the bottom-up.

By the way, did you know that your favorite PR guy and mine is on Twitter?


Link Roundup: Frustration and Impatience

December is here, and the Mets front office has been rather quiet.  Except for the extension of David Wright, and the release of Jason Bay, no major roster turnover has occurred.

Is Sandy Alderson just a pretender, as MMO suggests, or has the front office simply given up (Yes, I understand linking to one’s own blog is a tad incestuous)?  Or could it be that Alderson is still waiting out the market instead of making a rash decision that could lead to overpaying in money and/or players?  Either way, Mets fans are getting impatient.

As for Wright, he will be on the payroll through 2025, whether he is on the roster or not.  $15.5 million of his contract is deferred, and will be paid in installments during 2021 and 2025.  That will help free up salary in the near future, but the Mets better be in stronger financial shape nine years from now.

Andres Torres signed a one-year deal with the Giants, the team on which he had his only good major league season.  So now San Francisco has both Pagan and Torres, and the Mets will likely start the year without Ramon Ramirez, the key part of that trade from a year ago.  The trade can now fairly be characterized as a bust, but at the time I liked it, mainly for Ramirez.  But Ramon decided to have the worst year of his life in 2012, so it didn’t work out.

The only truly big move that is likely to occur is going to be either the extension or trade of R.A. Dickey.  Dickey appeared to be having a blue (blue blue blue) Christmas at the Mets holiday party this week.  He wants the contract talks to move faster.  The Mets appear to be waiting on the trade market now that Zack Greinke is off the board.  Everyone has thrown in their speculation, but it looks about 50/50 whether he will be signed or not.  They could get a good return on a trade for R.A., but Dickey gives the Mets some identity (not to mention his ace status on the mound), and is truly a feel-good story.  When was the last time a Met was on the cover of Sports Illustrated?

For now, it’s time for us Mets fans to wait out the front office.  Don’t expect any big moves this year.  More payroll will be coming off the books following the 2013 season.  Until then, your loyalty will be tested.


Blog Roundup: Sputtering to the Finish

The good news: Matt Harvey finished up a very promising abbreviated season with 7 innings of one-hit ball.  The bad news: Josh Edgin, making his first (and maybe last) appearance as closer, gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Howard, which gave the Phillies a 3-2 win, and their second win of the 3 game series.

Once again, the Mets couldn’t score more than 2 runs.  Their offense has been futile, especially at home.  I believe the exact statistic is “they haven’t scored bupkis in ever.”  It’s hard to imagine anything short of an overhaul of their lineup will fix their current conundrum.  But that’s the task that faces Sandy Alderson this winter.

The Blogs:

  • MMO weighs in on how many years is too many for David Wright.
  • The Bitter Bill ranks the current team in the pantheon of Mets futility.
  • Ted Berg goes in-depth on Matt Harvey’s performance this year.
  • WFAN makes it official – Keith Hernandez will shave off the ol’ push broom before the home finale.
  • Rising Apple says that the MLB Commish has confidence in Mets ownership.  Sigh.
  • Faith and Fear writes of bad pitches and bitter losses.

Hang in there folks, only two weeks to go.  And keep checking out Mets Today.


Matt Harvey Tunes Up in Buffalo


Did Harvey pass his audition?

Matt Harvey auditioned for a role in the Mets starting rotation tonight as he took the mound against the Toledo Mud Hens in Buffalo.  Harvey threw 100 pitches in 6 2/3 innings.  He allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 4 and struck out 4.  One of the runs scored when reliever Justin Hampson allowed an inherited runner to cross the plate on a single.

Sandy Alderson and J.P. Ricciardi were on hand to evaluate Harvey first hand.  Obviously, the Mets’ front office is seriously considering Harvey to replace the injured Dillon Gee in the major league rotation.

Harvey was effectively wild at times, throwing only 58% of his pitches for strikes.  That kind of ball to strike ratio will eventually catch up with him at the major league level.  His command has been improving of late, so one hopes that this is an aberration.

But he pitched well enough tonight to earn a shot at the major league level.  Of course, the experienced eyes of Alderson and Ricciardi will decide, but don’t be surprised if he’s called up soon and on the mound this weekend.

Meanwhile, Jason Bay went 0 for 2 with 2 walks.  Mets manager Terry Collins has indicated that Bay will return to the big club on Tuesday.  Also, Jenrry Mejia pitched 2 innings in relief, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits.


The Unpredictable Relief Pitcher


Wait...this isn't what I ordered.

If you could trade for a 30 year-old relief pitcher who posted a sub-3.00 ERA each of the last 4 years, would you make that deal?  If you could acquire a pitcher who had a WHIP less than 1.30 and a K/9 ratio over 10 in 3 of the last 4 years, would you bring him onto your team?  How about a veteran with a career ERA of 3.84 and a career WHIP of 1.25?

If you said yes to any of these deals, then you would have acquired Ramon Ramirez, Frank Francisco, and Jon Rauch, respectively.

Bringing those 3 pitchers aboard is exactly what GM Sandy Alderson did over the offseason.  So far, the returns have been a disappointment.  So much so, that Alderson is once again in the market for a relief pitcher to reinforce the late innings, and possibly even close until Francisco gets back.