Tag: R. A. Dickey

Link Roundup: d’Arnaud Stays, Gee on the Money

With John Buck returning from paternity leave tonight, the Mets have decided to keep Travis d’Arnaud in the majors as their starting catcher.

The Mets feel d’Arnaud, the centerpiece of the trade that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays, has learned all he can at Triple-A. It’s time for him to learn the game at the big-league level, and most importantly, develop an on-field rapport with the pitching staff.

D’Arnaud is 0 for his first 7 at bats with 5 walks. He hit .304/.487/.554 during his injury-shortened stint in Las Vegas.

Anthony Recker has been sent down to Triple-A to make room. He’ll likely be back with the Mets when rosters expand on September 1. Terry Collins has been pleased with Recker, in particular how he handled pitchers and provided a little pop off the bench.

Buck, meanwhile, will serve as d’Arnaud’s backup most of the time. Imagine the uncomfortable dinner conversation between John and his son years from now.

Dillon Gee has been on fire over the past three months, posting an ERA of 2.27 since May 30th. In particular, his changeup has been outstanding.

On the occasion of Marlon Byrd‘s 20th homer of the season, Faith and Fear looks back at other Mets who have hit 20 or more in a season.

Real Dirty draws parallels between the Mets and Pirates, and wonders if the 2014 Mets can echo the success Pittsburgh is enjoying this year.

To do so, they’ll have to make some upgrades, particularly in the outfield, and maybe shortstop.

The Mets begin a two-game series with the first-place Braves tonight at Citi Field. For recaps and reactions, keep checking out Mets Today.

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Blog Roundup: David Wright and other News

So, the offseason of David Wright and R.A. Dickey is underway, and in full force.  According to Metsblog, the Mets will begin negotiations with Wright by offering him a deal that will keep him around until 2020.  I agree with Matt Cerrone’s take on what the offer will look like.  Most likely, 2020 will be an option, and it will be heavily negotiated.

Read the recent posts here on Mets Today for opinions on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.  My thought is that 2013 is going to be like the last 2 seasons: 70-75 wins, and the Mets will remain rather stagnant on the trade/free agent market.  Johan Santana and Jason Bay will come off the ledger following 2013.  That means the Mets will be more flexible to spend heading into the 2014 season.  I believe the offseason between 2013 and 2014 is the front office’s focus.  In addition to whomever they acquire that offseason, they will still want David Wright to anchor third base.

  • Metsblog has the aforementioned story on Wright’s contract.
  • Jon Heyman also believes that the Mets want to sign Dickey to no more than a 2-year deal.
  • Bleacher Report focuses on who the Mets should bring into their outfield.  Angel Pagan, anyone?
  • Rant Sports addresses the top five holes the Mets have to fill.
  • Faith and Fear looks at how competitive the Mets have been in the postseason, on those rare occasions they’ve been there.
  • Kranepool Society had a podcast with none other than…Ed Kranepool!  I still have a baseball that Eddie autographed for me at the old outdoor Garden State Plaza when I was a kid.
  • Patrick Flood is his own entity again, but no less enjoyable to read.

Things seem to be happening quickly this offseason, so keep checking up on the drama here on Mets Today.

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Backing Up The Truck: Six Tradeable Mets

This always happens around Labor Day with sub-500 baseball teams. Having realized that the current season is a lost cause, the hardcore fans join the team scribes, broadcasters and even some front office types in the therapeutic process of speculating about next year’s roster. Therapy started a bit early for the Mets this year, when GM Sandy Alderson appeared on the Mike’s On radio show in late August and clearly stated that major changes are coming to the 2013 team. He added that most of the changes would come via the trade market. This fueled a wave of speculation in the blogosphere, which soon reached the so-called mainstream media, culminating in last weekend’s Joel Sherman NYP article recommending trades of David Wright, R.A. Dickey and Jon Niese.

While I agree with Alderson that the time for change has come, I reject Sherman’s notion that the Mets could trade Wright or Dickey for some blue chippers that could be plugged right into the lineup and return the team to respectability. Think about some of the deals made in the last five years involving big name players and what shape the teams that surrendered those players are in now. Since 2008, Texas, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Cleveland, Seattle, Toronto, San Diego, Oakland, Houston and Minnesota have all unloaded star players for bushels of minor leaguers. With the exception of Texas and possibly Oakland, none of these teams will see the 2012 post season and most of them will likely finish with a record just as bad (if not worse) than the Mets this year.

It’s no secret that the Mets need to strengthen ¾ of their up the middle defense, jump start their offense by adding both speed and right-handed power, and acquire at least two reliable relief pitchers. That’s a tall order. Extracting a Wright or a Dickey from the roster only makes more work. So not only should the Mets retain Wright and Dickey, they need to work on extending them both before Spring Training.

If Wright and Dickey are the “Elite Mets”, then Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada fall into the category of “Successful Mets,” a group of players whose 2012 production cannot be replaced with an-house option. It’s not unreasonable to expect that the best from Ike and Rueben is yet to come. I would also put Niese in this category, as well as Matt Harvey. If I’m Alderson, I would hold out a king’s ransom in any trade that involves those aforementioned six players as well as minor leaguers Zack Wheeler, Michael Fulmer or Brandon Nimmo. So I don’t expect any blockbuster deals.

On the flip side, I don’t think the Mets could even give away Frank Francisco, Jason Bay or Johan Santana, let alone get anything of value in return. They also have no leverage with Chris Young, Scott Hairston, Kelly Shoppach, Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez, Ronny Cedeno, Andres Torres and Mike Pelfrey, as they all have expiring contracts. I suspect Shoppach gets a nice contract extension to stay here and it isn’t too farfetched to suppose that Josh Edgin and Robert Carson are already penciled in as the bullpen LOOGYs. Rauch and Hairston might also be approached about a return.

So who’s left to trade? Surprisingly, for a team that has fallen as far and as fast as the Mets have, there are a few intriguing names. The challenge facing the brain trust is not only deciding on how accurate the 2012 performance is as a barometer of future results, but also exactly what metrics to use when making those measurements. Dreamt up trade proposals in which my team trades garbage for your team’s treasure are beneath this site and its readers. It is possible however, to have an intelligent discussion on just what the Mets realistically have to offer other teams. I would be very surprised if any more than two are moved. In other words, I didn’t believe Alderson when he talked with Jeter Booster Mike. That aside, here is my speculation on who is available, ranked in order of my perceived value:

1.Dillon Gee: In retrospect, Gee’s injury was the first major crack in the façade of the 2012 season. He may never be a top of the rotation starter, but he has shown long stretches of serviceability and could have a long and useful role in a contending team’s rotation. The injury that ended his season shouldn’t scare off teams as there was no apparent structure damage from the clot. I think he will have better seasons, but I wonder just how high his ceiling is.

2.Jennry Mejia or Jeurys Familia: Two enigmas, but also good reasons to pay attention to the Mets this September. Each has a good arm and can either relieve or start. Both have minor league numbers that are good, but not great. It may be a case of offering them separately around both leagues and taking the best package in return for one of them, with the other heading to the 2013 bullpen. One of them for Peter Bourjos perhaps? (Sorry– can’t resist).

3.Bobby Parnell: Looking at the glass as half full, the Mets do have some interesting arms to dangle. I love the fact that Parnell can throw as hard as he does and fear that once he escapes Dan Warthen, he will blossom into the shutdown reliever many of us thought he always would. But we have been waiting on Bobby to take the next step for four seasons now. Is he being poorly mentored/utilized or does he lack the necessary elements to be a consistently successful relief pitcher? He is heading for arbitration this year so it will now cost more to find out. I believe the latter fact makes both Parnell and Daniel Murphy, who is also arbi-eligible, near locks to be moved this offseason.

4.Daniel Murphy: Wasn’t it Branch Rickey who said he always wanted to move a player a year too soon rather than a year too late? In retrospect, Alderson should have made the trade rumored in 2011 with Detroit involving Murphy for outfielder Andy Dirks. I like Daniel, but I now think the time has come to move him. This winter, Alderson should go back to the Padres and ask if their offer of reliever Luke Gregerson for Murphy still stands. Gregerson would certainly be an improvement over anything the Mets have in the bullpen now. The Mets also have several potential replacements for Murphy in Wilmer Flores, Jordany Valdespin and Justin Turner, although either Wilmer and Jordany could be a blog post all by himself. There is always the possibility that the Flores/Jordany market heats up this winter, meaning one or both of them go and Murphy stays. Boy, being GM is complicated!

5.Lucas Duda: I almost put Jeremy Hefner on this list instead. Duda’s power potential is definitely there, but that may take a few years to develop. He also looks overmatched in the outfield, either at left or right. I could see Lucas being dealt for what he one day might become, a slow footed outfielder, one capable of hitting 20-25 homers. In a less imperfect world, this outfielder also hits right-handed.

This is a key offseason for the Mets; decisions made in the next few months could very well impact the direction of the franchise for the rest of the decade. Time for Sandy to earn his salary, don’t you think?

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Blog Roundup: Dickey Goes for 17th W

Having won their past two series, (break up the Mets!) New York heads down to Amazing Technicolor Marlins Park for a series with the Marlins.  Miami followed up their offseason spending spree with a comical, and somewhat predictable, fire sale at the trade deadline.  The Marlins are one organization that even Mets fans can point at and laugh.

With most of the drama gone for the Mets, however, we can sit on the edge of our seats to see if R.A. Dickey can become the Mets’ first 20-game winner since Frank Viola.  We all know by now that wins and losses don’t mean all that much when evaluating a starting pitcher, but it would be a nice achievement because 1) It would be a nice reward for R.A. Dickey for a job well done this year, and 2) It simply isn’t done a whole lot anymore.

With that said, onto the Blogs:

  • On the Black examines R.A.’s chances of getting to 20 wins.  Also, check out his 50th anniversary bobblehead collection.
  • Mets360 breaks down Dickey’s year, and breaks down all of the Mets SPs by xFIP.
  • MMO has the latest minor league news, including the still red-hot Wilmer Flores.
  • Metstradamus knows who he’s voting for this November.
  • Amazin’ Avenue finds out what part of the field Kelly Shoppach likes to hit the ball the most. (Hint: It rhymes with “heft.”)
  • MetsCetera has details on “A Night With Ike Davis,” which benefits children’s cancer research.

Enjoy the linkage, and keep following R.A. Dickey and the Mets on Mets Today.

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To the Bat(ista) Phone!

He’s started a World Series game at Yankee Stadium, once dissed Miss Iowa and is a published author and poet. He is Miguel Batista and if the Mets at all want to add a little interest to the remainder of another season of broken dreams, they should call him up from Buffalo to take the rotation spot for the recently DL’d Jonathon Niese.

No, Batista won’t log many quality innings, nor at age 40, is he auditioning for a spot in next year’s rotation. What he might bring is a little quirkiness and character to a team that has been beaten down recently by injuries, bullpen meltdowns and mental mistakes. Batista is the author a 2007 thriller called The Avenger of Blood, a novel about a serial killer. He is also known for his love of philosophy and poetry—imagine a combined shut out by Batista and R.A. Dickey, now there would be some post game quotes! If nothing else, the Mets could urge him to slight other beauty queens the way he did Katherine Connors — then reigning Miss Iowa — back in 2010. (For those who have forgotten, Batista was booed when he replaced Nats phenom Steven Strasburg as a starting pitcher last year when Strasburg turned up injured. Asked later if it bothered him, Batista replied “no, I understand how the fans felt. It’s like going to see Miss Universe and getting Miss Iowa.” To which Connors replied, “I can pitch but I’d like to see Batista walk down a runway in a bathing suit and high heels.” They eventually made up and Connors was invited to throw out the first pitch at a later Nats game). Perhaps a bevy of beauty queens tossing out the first pitch for the remainder of the home schedule might bump attendance up slightly and make Jose Reyes more affordable to the Mets next year. If not, well there’s always Pat Misch.

The injuries to Niese and Scott Hairston might mean an early jump on the expected September call ups. Mike Nickeas has already been activated to replace Niese on the roster. In addition to Batista and Misch, some other names include Zach Lutz, Chris Schwinden and Jordanny Valdespin. As has been reported elsewhere, don’t expect Matt Harvey, Jeurys Famila or Reese Havens.

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