Hey Jeff: Fire The Fraud

Hope you had a nice Father’s Day, Jeff. How’s dad? I know it’s hard to think that there are more Father’s Days behind him than in front of him, so cherish each one. I’m frequently sorry that my Dad passed away before my son was born. They would have really liked each other.

Good of you to be running the family business as dad ages. This way he gets to keep his status and has a place for his memories. Considering that you were the guy who introduced him to “Uncle Bernie,” it’s probably the least you could do. Well, you could sell the whole thing, but I am trying to stay realistic here.

Speaking of smooth talkers who have flim-flammed you and dad, I’d like to bring your attention to one currently in your employ who has been taking you and your team for a ride for almost five years now.

Yes, he got the job because of one of your dad’s pals, but apparently Mr. Bud didn’t really vet this guy enough before he foisted him on you. The team’s overall record since his arrival is nearly 40 games below .500. During the same time he has been in his role, his younger, more energetic and most likely more talented counterparts have resurrected previously moribund franchises in Washington, Houston, the north side of Chicago, Pittsburgh and Kansas City. Meanwhile, he keeps telling you to wait one more year. He takes your money while slyly hinting to the hyenas in the press that your family’s finances are the reason why his hands are tied. These pronouncements made him a somewhat sympathetic figure, but his hubris got the best of him when he signed a contract extension. With that move, he was revealed as not the good soldier in an impossible situation, but as The Fraud. He is perpetrating this fraud on you and on us.

Like Uncle Bernie, The Fraud makes some noises that do indeed sound correct. Too bad he conveniently forgets most of his maxims when he is let loose in the marketplace.

Jeff, in a few weeks, when your team is  below .500 and fending off the Marlins for 3rd  place, The Fraud will probably come to you with a trade proposal. It will be a bad trade; costing you prospects and making you take on a big contract, most likely for a player on the wrong side of 30, a player whom The Fraud plans on moving out of position. Don’t do it, Jeff. Part of the scam is to push you so far into the hole that you will lose all control to him. Instead you need to end this now by showing The Fraud and his cronies the door.

You apparently don’t let trivialities like justifiable cause hold you back from firing staff members, Jeff , but to help you out, here is a list of The Fraud’s more flagrant fouls:

  1. The Curtis Granderson signing. Early on, The Fraud stated that he never wants to pay a player for what he did for another team. He cited the Jason Bay contract. Ask him, then, to explain this signing. Granderson is being paid for those two 40+ home run years he had for the Yankees. This transaction had red flags all over it from the moment it was announced and most of the dire predictions have come true. Grandy has become a Punch and Judy hitter. Not enough power to hit in the middle of the order and not a high enough OBP to be a leadoff guy. Then there’s his defense. Get ready Jeff, you are going to have to eat a lot of this contract and maybe even take on a less bad (but still bad) contract just to get rid of this guy.
  2. Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler. The Fraud launched his reputation off this deal. Ever wonder why a smart team like the Giants was so willing to part with Wheeler? I did, until I saw him pitch in a AAA game at the end of 2012. He looked just like he would for the season and a half before he got hurt: wild and only marginally effective. I get it that a clause in Beltran’s contract made him a difficult move. But the value the Mets have received on this deal certainly hasn’t matched the hype wrapped around it. This is part of the scam Jeff. See through it.
  3. Marlon Byrd and John Buck for Dilson Herrera and Victor Black. More prospect hype here. The Fraud supposedly acquired the second baseman of the future and a live bullpen arm for two spare parts. Now for the reality: Byrd and Buck helped the Pirates to their first playoff berth in nearly a generation. Brought on as rentals, they did their jobs and then moved on. Black is on what, his third DL visit, while Herrera can’t hit. In fact he is in danger of being replaced by Ruben Tejada, who is The Fraud’s answer to every question. Who is going to replace Jose Reyes? Tejada. Who is going to play third now that everyone else is hurt? Tejada. Who is going to play second after we send Dilson down? Tejada. Good thing Ruben has no bullpen experience!
  4. R.A. Dickey and two catchers for Travis d’Arnaud, “Thor” and a Single-A Slugger. Like many of The Fraud’s other moves, this one looks good on the surface. He converted an aging journeyman with a gimmick pitch coming off a season of a lifetime into two top prospects and one lottery ticket. As predicted, Dickey has come back to earth. But TdA reminds me of Joe Namath: talented yes, but so injury prone as to be unreliable. The Jets built their team around Namath (they let go of John Riggins as part of this) and when he suffered a series of injuries in the early 70’s, it put them into a tailspin that took nearly 10 years to recover from. This latest injury for Travis is just another reminder of how fragile he is and the potential foolhardiness of anointing him as both their main catcher and an important offensive contributor.  Syndergaard needs to start saying “Just call me Noah,” until he you know, actually wins something.
  5. Collin McHugh for Eric Young Jr. EYJ was The Fraud’s response to those calling for more speed in the Met lineup. EYJ’s stats in Colorado weren’t an aberration: he just doesn’t get on base enough. The Fraud traded an unsexy pitching prospect for him. True to form, EYJ just couldn’t get on base enough. But wait, wasn’t The Fraud proclaimed as the Godfather of Moneyball? Didn’t he invent OBP? Did he even look at McHugh’s minor league pitching peripherals? Two years later, EYJ is gone, while McHugh and his half-million dollar contract is a top of the rotation arm on a surprising Houston team. If the Mets kept McHugh there is no Dillon Gee and his $5M contract playing in AAA Vegas and no $20M being spent on Bartolo Colon. Ouch!
  6. Banishing Justin Turner. He didn’t “hustle enough.” He is slashing .333/.401/.579 right now for the Dodgers, about what he did for them last year as well. Quick: how many Mets regulars are even close to this slash line? Ouch again. There is some “hustling”  going on somewhere in this organization for sure, don’t you think Jeff?
  7. Drafting Gavin Cecchini over Corey Seager. Cecchini had a nice month in Double A, but has since slumped and returned to his previous non-prospect status. Seager, the next shortstop taken in the 2012 draft, is probably the best prospect at that position in all of baseball. After five years of drafting, only one of The Fraud’s picks (Michael Conforto) looks as if he may be more than an average major leaguer. Conforto is part of the next wave of propaganda from The Fraud and his cronies: wait for the young pitchers hitters  to arrive. Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario are part of this shell-game narrative that will grow more audible as the season drags on.
  8. Banishing Angel Pagan: Very much like the Turner situation. In this case, The Fraud got two warm bodies for Angel. The Giants got their World Series champ centerfielder. The Mets **ahem** “leaked” some  **ahem** “messy” stories about Pagan. He apparently cleaned up pretty well.
  9. Paralysis by Analysis: It happens every winter Jeff and then echoes at the end of every July: The Fraud stands pat, refusing to re-arrange or augment his roster, ignoring the fact that it needs an overhauling and apparently lacking the creativity and/or the energy to do what he is being paid so handsomely to do. Instead there is a bunch of talk about monitoring and canvassing and having conversations. But in the end, it’s (almost) nothing, which when you ponder many of the points above, isn’t an entirely bad thing!

A little history lesson here Jeff:  if your team finishes the year below .500 it will mark seven consecutive losing seasons here in Queens. This will match the franchise records for futility. The other two stretches included the Mets of the Casey Stengel era (1962-68) and the post-midnight massacre era of 1977-83. Do you really want a third dry spell, this one attached to your stewardship of the team?

Given the stadium you play in and the number of good pitching staffs in the National League, you need a team that makes contact at the plate and runs the bases well. They need to be at least adept defensively. If a bespectacled History major, whose pinnacle of athletic achievement was the starting right fielder for a church softball team can see this, then why have you paid The Fraud and his henchmen millions to build a team that is almost the exact opposite of this? And this team he has built is a loser.  That’s the beauty and the curse of baseball, Jeff. The game exposes every weakness and every flaw. It has exposed The Fraud. You alone Jeff, have the power to end this. For our sakes and for dear old dad, do it. You do know that you and dad are once again the laughingstock of this city and probably most of MLB right now, don’t you?

Apparently a few scribes for Alexander Hamilton’s tabloid read this blog. Is it too much to ask them to at least acknowledge where they get some of their content?

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. gary s June 24, 2015 at 10:36 am
    Preaching to the choir Dan. The sad thing this year if not for the injuries to DW, TDA and Murph this team could have contended for a playoff spot all year. As hard as it is to replace 3 hitters in season, i thought it was the job of the GM to at least give it a try. Not this GM
  2. Walnutz15 June 24, 2015 at 12:05 pm
    The Mets’ll never fire Sandy Alderson. If anything, and it comes to the point where the “working relationship” with the Wilpons can’t be kept up as a front — then he’ll “resign”.
  3. Extragooey June 24, 2015 at 12:06 pm
    I can’t disagree more with this post. I will go through them one at a time.

    1. I’ll give you Granderson as a bad signing. However, the other free agent was Choo (who I wanted on the Mets) and since both have struggled after signing their deals. It may be a blessing in disguise that Mets only signed Grandy to 4 years instead of 7 to Choo.

    2. You can’t use what is obviously beyond a doubt a plus move and use it for your negative argument. No one with any sense thought this was a bad move and is still not a bad move even with the injury. Please move on.

    3. OMG, please see number 2. Are you kidding me?

    4. More OMG. See number 2. Hello, McFly!!

    5. Maybe he could have gotten more for McHugh in hindsight. But I didn’t shed a tear losing McHugh. If you did, link me the post.

    6. Turner was actually a pretty good utility player. I may have shed a tear for him, more than McHugh. But probably no more than a tear. You know why? He was a utility player! Yes, with the injuries, his loss is now very apparent. Without the injuries… Did you want to start him at short? Or did you want to start him over Murphy?

    7. LOL at the 2nd guessing. Sigh… I did a google search for “2012 MLB mock draft” and the top 5 hits, no one had Seager going before Cecchini. In fact Seager didn’t even make the 1st round in a couple of them. I stopped looking after the top 5 hits. I’m sure you had Seager going higher right?

    8. I remember thinking it was a flip of a coin whether not re-signing Pagan was the right move at that time. In hindsight, I think it was the right move to not sign him. He had one good year with the Giants, two injury plagued seasons, and a subpar year so far this year. He’s still better than Lagares offensively. Too bad Juan just hadn’t developed.

    I’m surprised Cuddyer didn’t make it into your Alderson bashing. You didn’t even have the decency to call him by name. Is he really doing that badly in your eyes? I don’t see it with the points you made. Many of which support him. Alderson has turned one of the worst farm systems into one of the best. Yes, the team is a mess. Maybe moves are coming near the deadline. However, I haven’t heard of a good trade target from anyone on this website. At least targets that won’t cripple the farm for another decade.

    • Joe Janish June 24, 2015 at 7:16 pm
      1. How about signing neither?
      2. “what is obviously beyond a doubt a plus move” – If it is so obvious could you please provide some detail supporting it? I, for two, didn’t love the move either at the time. It turned out to be a classic example of Alderson’s M.O. of dumping MLB stars with big salaries for unproven (and cheap) minor leaguers.
      3. & 4. Again, some detail supporting your view would be fantastic. You can disagree with Dan, but at least Dan explained each of his opinions.
      5. What does “shedding a tear” have to do with assembling a roster? Ironic, btw, that one of the few deals made by Alderson that brought back a MLBer backfired.
      6. The question is WHY was Turner a utility player? Because he was undervalued by Mets management. Using “utility player” as a put-down is funny to me considering that current Mets “regulars” Murphy, Herrera, Flores, Campbell, and Tejada qualify as “utility players.” And probably one or both of d’Arnaud and Plawecki will turn into utility players within the next two years. I assume, then, you won’t shed a tear when any of those players are jettisoned as well.
      7. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the Mets created their draft boards based on Google searches. For what it’s worth, if the people publishing “mock drafts” on the internet were any good at evaluating amateur talent, they wouldn’t be publishing “mock drafts” on the internet — they’d be working in scouting departments for MLB teams.
      8. What did I say before about the irony of Alderson getting MLBers back in a trade? Oh yeah, fits here too. The specific argument by Dan isn’t just about re-signing Pagan, it is about getting something of value in return.

      As for the idea that Alderson “turned one of the worst farm systems into one of the best,” I can’t agree with that statement since there is so little to go on thus far. But then, my evaluation of a farm system is based on the quality and quantity of MLB talent it creates (rather than based on whatever a pundit says) — and it’s too early to see what Alderson’s farm reaps. Also, I don’t know that the Mets had the “worst” farm system previously — it DID, after all, produce Harvey, deGrom, Duda, Lagares, Familia, Mejia, Niese, Gee, Parnell, and Murphy, among others, as well as a handful of players who might turn out to be everyday MLBers (i.e., Flores, Matz, Morris). The Alderson farm system has produced exactly one man who has participated in an entire MLB season (Wheeler). We can re-convene this topic three years from now to see if it produces anyone else.

      The Wilpons LOVE fans with low expectations. It encourages ownership to continue cutting costs and make winning a secondary goal to paying off debts and remaining sports moguls who can hob-nob with the high rollers at the country club. Six straight losing seasons with a seventh on the horizon, four (so far) of which with Alderson in charge. If the Mets finish 2015 with a fifth straight losing season under Alderson, will it THEN be OK to bash him? Or will we have to wait until after a sixth?

      • Extragooey June 24, 2015 at 4:25 pm
        1. So sign neither and do nothing which everyone is shitting on Alderson about doing now. Or did you have another outfielder you wanted the Mets to go after? Remember, links to what you posted or it didn’t happen.

        2-4. Aging stars with value are moved for the best young prospects you can get your hands on when your team isn’t projected to compete for the foreseeable future. That’s the obvious part. Or are you questioning this? Did you want to resign Byrd? Beltran? You can make a case for keeping Dickey I guess since he was already under contract.

        There are two evaluations you can make on a trade. The first is the initial evaluation you make when it happens. The second is the hindsight evaluation after enough time have passed to look at the production from the players involved. Since I’m assuming he’s not already saying this is all we’re gonna get from the young players in these trades, I can only assume he’s saying we didn’t get back enough initial value. Or is he saying this is all we’re getting from the young players? And if he’s not happy with the prospect status of the players the Mets got back, who did he want back? Trout? Bryant?

        5-6. My point is that no one thought trading McHugh or non-tendering Turner was going to be terrible. And if you had foresight, let’s see it. But maybe you’re right in hindsight, let’s evaluate after a few years.

        7. Once again, if you had the foresight, let’s see the evidence. It’s too early to criticize in hindsight Alderson for a draft pick in 2012 when neither players are in the majors.

        8. So he bitched for getting a bunch of high ceiling prospects for a player that was hitting .289/.391/.513, another player that was hitting .285/.330/.518, and a pitcher that just won the Cy Young award. But he’s also criticizing for getting crap back for Pagan who hit .262/.322/.372. There’s no pleasing him I guess.

        You can bash Alderson. Just bash him on the wrong moves, which there are. Just don’t use the right moves and twist it around to support your position. It looks bad. You lose credibility.

        • Joe Janish June 25, 2015 at 12:27 am
          Whoever said we had credibility? This is a blog written by baseball fans when we have nothing better to do. The goal is conversation. The execution is creating supporting arguments to induce conversation. It appears we succeeded.

          Dan already stated his supporting evidence, as did I, as did you. There isn’t any point in belaboring the points. You believe what you believe and we believe what we believe.

          Shall we discuss religion or politics next?

        • argonbunnies June 25, 2015 at 1:51 am
          Psh. No need to induce conversation and then abandon it — there’s plenty more to be had! I have faith in us to discuss without mere repetition.
        • Quinn June 25, 2015 at 10:01 am
          EG he is a gm of a mlb team he should not make a signing of it it’s not a correct move to pleasea fab base. That’s good job, if the fans were the gm we would sign everyone. Also you hate on pagans slash line but wouldn’t that be good ok our roster right now? And the Turner move was horrible at the time and in hind sight also hid job to forecast. As for the trades,have they worked out? Are we any closer to the playoffs? Since it is good job to get the Mets into the playoffs it is safe to say he has failed
    • argonbunnies June 25, 2015 at 1:45 am
      I’m half and half. I’m largely with Dan & Joe on the general stuff, but I agree with Gooey on many of these moves.

      1. Granderson was not the sort of deal that would cripple most teams, but it certainly was not a GOOD deal.

      2. Sometimes doing the obvious is okay. I wish the Mets’ scouts and analysts were better than everyone else’s and could find less-touted players that turn out to be better than the kid in A ball touching 98 and flashing a nasty curve… but if that’s our standard as fans, we don’t have much to comment on. Every single move would be a total disappointment, period. So I’m happy to get back a well-regarded minor leaguer for a rent-a-Beltran.

      3. Same as above. Dealt a guy with completely irrelevant Mets time remaining to get an average-or-better return. I liked watching Byrd play, but I was happy to sacrifice that privilege for a meaningless September 2013 in favor of future hope. I don’t think there is any such thing as a top relief prospect, so I accepted Black with a shrug, and Herrera was a teen in A-ball, so no, I didn’t think it was a BRILLIANT deal. But was it a reasonable gamble and an intelligent use of assets? I think so.

      4. Dickey for kids is a fantastic deal if you assume the Mets’ competitive window begins in 2015 or 2016, and a terrible deal if you assume it was 2013. (Just to clarify: I expect Dickey’s numbers in old Citi would have been, and would still be, much better than in Rogers Center.) Given where we are now, I love the deal, because we could have Thor, d’Arnaud, AND Dickey on the 2016 Mets if we wanted. But should we accept where we are now as a given?

      5. McHugh thrived last year under smarter people than the Mets, who told him what someone should have told Gee years ago: “Stop throwing your fastball so much, it really is your worst pitch.” I don’t see any chance he thrives on the Mets, and he isn’t exactly thriving this year for the Astros — a 4.80 ERA is pretty darn bad. I consider this deal irrelevant. I liked watching EY Jr. play in 2013, so I’m fine with it. I just wish the Mets had tried to sell high on Eric after 2013.

      6. Agreed 100% with Joe, who consistently argued for more playing time for Justin while he was a Met. I had no idea Turner would ever show the power he’s shown in L.A., but I did know he was at least as good as the Mets’ other infielders, and in some ways (clutch hitting, routine fielding plays) better. Yeah, he was about to turn 29, but with a mere 841 MLB ABs, it’s not like all chance of improvement was behind him. The number of players who put it together at that stage is not insignificant. Also, bashing his hustle on the way out was unfounded and dirty.

      7. Joe’s witty snark notwithstanding, I don’t think any of us can say exactly who the Mets should have drafted. Saying it should have been Seager is lazy and 100% hindsight. If I recall right, the guy I would have drafted is some toolsy power prospect currently struggling with contact in AA. At the same time, my opinion on Cecchini hasn’t changed from the day he was drafted, and my opinion is that he has way too little star potential for a 1st rounder. I’d rather go boom or bust there than make a “reasonably safe bet to simply make it to MLB” pick.

      8. Completely agreed with Dan. I bashed this at the time, here, saying re: the Mets’ desire to replace Pagan’s sulking with Torres’ enthusiasm, “I guess they’ve decided character is paramount and talent is irrelevant.” It was obvious to me from the start that this deal was a major downgrade, and Alderson’s claim that Ramon Ramirez was a significant get was the first warning sign that he might be a liar or a moron. I dug into Ramon’s stats and pointed out that his effective 2011 was basically a fluke.

      That’s it for my take on each move in a vacuum, but here’s the thing: without an effective plan by which to judge them, EVERY move and non-move of the Alderson regime is a failure. When a team enters a season projected to make the playoffs, you can evaluate the moves that got them to that talent level. When such a team either makes the playoffs or doesn’t, you can evaluate the moves or non-moves that could have made the difference. But when a bad team in 2011 morphs into a very different bad team in 2015, I see zero point in saying, “Well, without X deal, things could be even worse!” I don’t care about the difference between 69 wins and 79. I want 90. To be continued…

    • argonbunnies June 25, 2015 at 3:39 am
      If we adopt a goal of “field a team win 90-win talent”, then each move Sandy’s made necessitated other moves which he then didn’t make, thus rendering the moves he did make ALL BAD. Take a look:

      1. Granderson signing is totally fine to address a single black hole position in an otherwise good roster. Problem: failed to provide otherwise good roster.

      2. Dealing for a young flamethrower with delivery-related command issues is totally fine if you hire folks with expertise in delivery refinement. Problem: hired no such folks; instead, allowed Wheeler to go back to dangerous motion because it “felt right”, possibly consigning him to “injury-prone walk artist” status.

      3. Dealing an OF for an A-ball 2B prospect is totally fine if you’re embarking on a multi-year rebuild and/or are able to more easily replace the OF. Problem: even though Byrd has his flaws, his replacements have been worse, and if we’re waiting for Herrera, that is a MUCH longer rebuild than was deemed acceptable when Alderson took over.

      4. Covered this. See after the numbered points for more.

      5. Dealing a not-ready 5th starter for possibly the best pinch-runner in the game is totally fine if you have rotation depth and carry a deep enough bench to pinch-run. Problem: giving EY Jr. lots of ABs.

      6. Losing a utility infielder is fine if you have a higher-upside one to replace him with, or you’re running 4 Cal Ripkens out there who never need subs. Problem: Omar Quintanilla, Eric Campbell, Ruben Tejada; no Ripken.

      7. Doesn’t really apply to this analysis. I could argue that if the Mets are gonna draft a high schooler without an elite bat, they need to do a better job fielding a good team without him and developing other bats, I guess.

      8. Trading a valuable player coming off a bad year for a bag of balls is totally fine if… uh… Nope, sorry, even if you’re not gonna win while he’s here AND you psychically know he’ll reject team-friendly extensions and be overpaid in FA, you STILL need to try to get more than two AAAA players. Whatever your contention window, sign or trade for someone who can at least plausibly help during that window.

      See? Almost any of these moves COULD have been solid if they’d been part of a plan. I’m talking about a plan for WHEN you’re going to field a 90-win talent-level team. Looking at the NY market, one could argue the answer should be “EVERY YEAR”. So we’re already being kind to the Mets by assuming some need to pick their spots. Even if we do that, 2013 is as plausible a spot as any. If you’re ever going to spend, Greinke and this supporting cast would be worth it:

      C – Pierezynski / Napoli (FAs)
      1B – Napoli / Duda
      2B – Murphy
      SS – Zack Cozart (trade for Ike Davis via other parties)
      3B – David Wright
      LF – Carlos Beltran (trade for Jon Niese)
      CF – Juan Lagares
      RF – Marlon Byrd

      Bench: Eric Young Jr., Justin Turner, Anthony Recker, maybe some FAs like Gomes/McLouth/Denorfia

      #1 – Matt Harvey
      #2 – Zack Greinke
      #3 – R.A. Dickey
      #4 – Dillon Gee
      #5 – Jeremy Hefner / Zack Wheeler

      CL – Rafael Soriano (FA)
      R1 – Koji Uehara (FA)
      R2 – Bobby Parnell
      R3 – Jonathan Broxton (FA)
      R4 – LaTroy Hawkins
      L1 – Scott Rice
      SW – Carlos Torres

      Two aces, an elite knuckleballer, a deep bullpen, stellar D at SS and CF, a balanced lineup. Wouldn’t you expect that team to win? Wouldn’t you pay to see them? I would. I am not saying this is the only option; it’s just an example. It’s something Alderson could have done, targeting the primes of Wright & Murphy on O, Lagares on D, Harvey and Dickey and Parnell on the mound, etc. It’s a plan. And by looking at that plan, and that team, we could find some good moves to cheer.

      In the real world, though? With no 90-win team, and no evident plan? I don’t think any of Sandy’s moves deserve cheers.

  4. DanB June 24, 2015 at 1:50 pm
    No professional team with a bad owner, such as the Wilpons, will ever have prolonged success. I am not an Alderson fan but Frank Cashen would not be able to win with Jeff Wilpon as his boss. Also, Dan you want Alderson fired based on his win/lost record. What makes you think that is how Wilpons judge him? The Wilpons own a development with a baseball team on it. Alderson is keeping costs down until they break ground. Just like Omar was running a team that was generating revenue to feed Madoff. Winning a championship has never been a top priority.
  5. Bat June 24, 2015 at 4:10 pm
    Wow, Cappy.

    Just “wow”.

    You went the way of Janish and every glass is half empty.

    As I wrote in a comment on a recent post, the Mets payroll is 21 out of 30 teams. If Alderson had the money to push the Mets payroll into the middle – around maybe 15 – adding another $14 million or so to the team’s payroll – I think the team would be better. That’s one very good player or a couple of good players.

    I do think the Granderson signing was engineering more by the Wilpons than Alderson because I think the Wilpons and the marketing department thought it was a coup getting a “star” from the Yankees. But I have no proof of that and that signing must stand as a negative against Alderson given that I cannot definitively attach the decision to offer Granderson a 4 yr / $60 million deal to the owners.

    I agree with Janish that the Mets minor league system was not devoid of prospects when Alderson took over – a statement like that doesn’t hold water if you were or are really familiar with the Mets major league and minor league system as of the day Alderson took over. That’s just factually inaccurate and you disprove that by (a) looking at the major league team and how many of them were drafted by the Minaya regime or (b) you can go back and look at how the Mets minor league system was ranked immediately prior to the Alderson regime – they weren’t at 30 out of 30 teams or anything close. If I recall correctly, they were ranked around middle of the pack by nearly all minor league commentators.

    But I disagree with Cappy that all of these guys like Nimmo, Cecchini, Dom Smith, etc. are terrible – not true if you read minor league system commentators like Keith Law, John Sickels, John Manuel (and other guys at BA), Kiley McDaniel (FanGraphs), and the team at Baseball Prospectus.

    Look, we’re not able to watch all of these minor leaguers play. And we know that the hype generated by the major league team (whether the Mets or any other major league team) is often exaggerated puffery. But if you read all of these minor league sites, what you do is get a consensus of sorts on where the Mets minor league players are vis-a-vis other teams players, and that consensus is that the Mets system is still better than average after the graduation of a lot of players.

    • Extragooey June 24, 2015 at 4:54 pm
      2010 rankings from ESPN’s K.Law had the Mets at 15, bleacherreport.com had the Mets at 19, Baseball America had the Mets at 25, and baseballprospectus had the Mets at 15.

      There are of course overlaps on players. But maybe we can give him credit for improving or at least not ruining if you think he’s not doing anything to help the system.

      • Bat June 24, 2015 at 8:22 pm
        Thanks for researching that point ExtraGooey.

        It proves that the farm system wasn’t total garbage when Alderson took over, but I think it has improved quite a bit.

        Plus, Alderson’s team has to get credit for the development of guys like deGrom. Minaya drafted him, but Alderson’s guys developed him.

        • Joe Janish June 25, 2015 at 12:13 am
          Yes, ExtraGooey, thanks for reinforcing my perspective. Any of those “reliable” sources have a job in a MLB scouting department? Ah, yes, one of them DID, but no longer.

          And again, who gives a crap about a pundit’s opinion on how they “rate” a farm system? Isn’t it results that matter most?

          As for “Aldersons guys” developing deGrom, try again. He was a fringe prospect until 2014 (don’t take it from me, check the stats and the pundits you cite, who said his ceiling was as a #4 starter). And for what it’s worth, it was Wally Backman who recommended that deGrom be put in the rotation, rather than Montero, last year. Instead, the front office insisted on going with “their guy” and only relented when Montero shat the bed.

          I suppose next you want to give credit to Alderson for “developing” Matt Harvey — tell that to Matt and his dad before posting it here.

          And “Alderson’s team” can also be given credit for “developing” Zack Wheeler into the next Mark Prior — minus the part where he set the world on fire before becoming an eternal enigma fraught with chronic arm injuries.

        • argonbunnies June 25, 2015 at 4:03 am
          We’re now free to ignore those 2010 rankings because we know how the players actually turned out. I haven’t assessed every team’s 2010-2015 rookies, but my vague sense is that the Mets are probably in the #7-#13 range, thanks mainly to Harvey’s arm and Lagares’ glove.

          As for the current crop, rankings are all we have, so might as well take the #4-#8 assessment at face value, with it perhaps declining by the day as guys like Plawecki and Herrera get promoted and don’t perform.

          So, y’know, Alderson’s improved the farm system… probably… a little…

          Honestly, I don’t know what “improving the farm system” even means when you trade major leaguers for minor leaguers who then graduate into being major leaguers. Thor and d’Arnaud and Dickey and Beltran and Wheeler are all in the exact same place wrt this assessment: Not The Mets’ Farm System.

          Re: the difference between pundits and MLB scouting dept employees, I don’t think there is one, given how fallible scouts already are and how heavily the pundits Gooey mentioned base everything they say off conversations with those same scouts. KLaw and BA and BP are wrong on prospects aplenty, but they’re generally in touch with what baseball pros are thinking.

        • Extragooey June 25, 2015 at 4:48 pm
          Well, not all major leaguers are the same. Age is pretty much a big factor. Pujols in his twenties is not exactly the same as Pujols in his thirties. They are both major leaguers…

          Exactly, well put on whether to dismiss the pundits. I can’t say it better so I won’t try.

          Why do you need to ignore the 2010 rankings now that some of the players have gotten some major league time? There’s a difference between current value and realized value. If my Apple stock is worth $127 today, why does it matter what it’s worth 5 years from now as far as decisions I make on it today. I should trade it for what it’s worth. If I did that today, I made the right move. If I trade it for 1/2 it’s value, I didn’t. Sure, in 5 years, whether or not I should have kept it, depends on what it’s value is 5 years from now. But since I can’t predict the future, and no one can, I can only trade it for the value it is today. If your minor league system is ranked 5th best, it’s 5th best, regardless of the future. You should deal your players for the perceived values they have today.

      • Brian Krysz June 25, 2015 at 2:20 pm
        Dan you are a boob and obviously a intern for Alderson. Sandy’s interns are working overtime to defend him like Hilar’s and Obama’s, but the truth is in the results, 7 years of futility and counting.
        • Dan Capwell June 26, 2015 at 7:39 am
          Drinking and posting. An interesting combination.
    • DanB June 24, 2015 at 4:59 pm
      I agree that the Met farm system was not as bad when Alderson took over. But it has also improved since he got here. My question is, was it Anderson’s talents that improved it or could any average GM had done the same? Remember that Alderson had top picks because of the teams record, traded away quality players for more top prospects, while also not trading his own top prospects for major league help. Actually, if he had traded more players who walked away like Reyes, Izzy, and Hairston AND invested in more international free agents, the farm would be crazy good. That said, I am guessing it was the Wilpons that squashed those trades and refused to pony up for the FAs.
      • Joe Janish June 25, 2015 at 12:18 am
        Again, we can’t measure the farm system until it actually produces MLB talent with staying power. As it stands now, Alderson’s legacy may be tied to how Cecchini, Nimmo, Smith, and Conforto pan out (which right now is looking like 3 DHs and a shortstop who is more Bud Harrelson than Troy Tulowitzki. It’s going to take a few years. Until then, it’s all conjecture.
        • Bat June 25, 2015 at 1:24 am
          Joe, you got a lot of anger in you, man.

          It’s professional sports, which is supposed to be entertainment – try and enjoy it a bit.

        • Joe Janish June 29, 2015 at 11:48 pm
          In response to Bat’s “Joe, you got a lot of anger in you, man.

          It’s professional sports, which is supposed to be entertainment – try and enjoy it a bit.”

          I got a lot of anger? It took you THIS long to figure that out? Welcome to the blog, my friend.

          Make up your mind, Bat. It annoys you that I wasn’t watching Mets games and was otherwise ambivalent during their 11-game winning streak. Now it annoys you that I show emotion in response to a post by my colleague. What would you prefer? Ambivalence or passion?

          What you describe as “anger,” I call “passion.” I follow Dylan Thomas’ suggestion — “Do not go gentle into that good night … Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

          What’s the point of a blog without expressing emotion?

          As for “It’s professional sports, which is supposed to be entertainment …”

          I have no idea what you mean by that. “Entertainment” like a movie or some other fiction? Like the WWF? To me, baseball is not “entertainment,” and “sports” are not merely “entertainment.” What humans do in sports is an extension of what they do in other parts of life. Sports are competitions, and display a person’s character, integrity, will, talent, and preparation. People may entertain themselves by watching baseball but that doesn’t necessarily make it “entertainment” in the way standup comedy, a play, a music concert, or porn is “entertainment.”

          There is PLENTY of baseball that brings joy to me. Unfortunately, almost none of it is connected to the Mets, so there’s very little if anything for me to express on this blog. Just because I show anger toward your precious Mets doesn’t mean everything in my life is full of anger. Believe it or not, there are other things in life to enjoy besides the Mets.

          And oh by the way, entertainment that is considered “good” is usually considered as such because it “moves” a person. By “moves,” I mean creating emotion in a person.

          Huh, go figure …

  6. Dan Capwell June 25, 2015 at 5:51 am
    I can now ad #10 to the list: telling us that Wilmer Flores is a bona-fide major league shortstop :http://nypost.com/2015/06/25/wilmer-flores-could-be-shifting-to-second-base-source/
  7. Dan Capwell June 26, 2015 at 4:28 pm
    Did The Fraud just tell the world he is “willing to overpay” in a trade?
    • argonbunnies June 26, 2015 at 4:50 pm
      No. Not the world. Mets fans. As we’ve seen, what he tells Mets fans has nothing to do with what he actually does as GM.
  8. DaveSchneck June 27, 2015 at 11:46 am
    The points above have been debated thoroughly, so I will not add anything in that aspect. I agree with AB regarding Alderson’s comments – they are what they are, a combination of truth, deception, and PR. That is not a problem. I want the GM to be shrewd when it comes to dealing.

    I will stand firm with the viewpoint that I do not want any of the big arms to be dealt. Of course, if they can acquire a Trout that would be different, but that isn’t happening. Alderson needs to add depth and versatility to the bench and or pen.

    We have waited the better part of 7 years for a truly competitive team. Now is not the time to panic. They can be an elite team 2016-2018 if they play their cards right, and Alderson needs to solve the needs for a leadoff hitter and solid defense up the middle while adding to the offense with the move(s) he makes. There is no margin for error.

    • Dan Capwell June 30, 2015 at 8:26 am
      Your keyboard to God’s ears, Dave. Unfortunately, there is little to suggest that Alderson can solve those very visible and long-standing problems.

      For example, he is back to using 2012’s failed option at shortstop. In fairness RT is playing better now than at anytime since about 2011, but I wonder how he will look 150 at-bats from now. After nearly three and one-half seasons, SA has yet to solve either the middle infield or the leadoff issues.

      I just hope he isn’t listening to Mike Francessa. I was tuned into the FAN yesterday afternoon while traveling from work to a Doctor’s appointment . After fielding about 100 calls from Met fans with ridiculous trade proposals, Big Mike opined that Hanley Ramirez would be ” a perfect fit” for the Mets.

      There is almost no circumstance that I could see that being a good move, not even if the Sox took Grandy and Niese back as part of the package.

      • Dan42 June 30, 2015 at 9:42 am
        How about flipping him for something useful?
      • DaveSchneck June 30, 2015 at 4:55 pm
        Agreed. No thank you on Hanley Ramirez. And for what it is worth, I think Sandy deleted WFAN from his dial.
      • argonbunnies June 30, 2015 at 5:10 pm
        Tejada has been good in the field lately. And it was cool to see him get red hot for 9 games in late May / early June. But aside from those 9 games, he’s hitting .173/.277/.288.

        As frustrating as Flores’ D has been, giving playing time to Tejada is a pure step back for the organization.

        If Reynolds and Herrera and T.J. Rivera really need more AAA time, then fine, let them have it, and I guess Ruben holds down a spot in the meantime. But that’s the only way that letting Tejada play helps the Mets at all.

        • Extragooey June 30, 2015 at 6:12 pm
          When I see Tejada work the count, get to 3-2, foul of a bunch of pitches, it baffles the mind why he can’t stay in the lineup. It seems like a .280 avg and a .350-.360 obp would be possible and a reality, but it’s not. I just shake my head.
    • Extragooey June 30, 2015 at 1:10 pm
      I think many people share your viewpoint, the young arms are untouchable. However, can we realistically expect to get the bats to solve the offensive problems without given them up? You can’t expect quality for mediocrity. I’m open to getting quality for quality.

      This year and onwards, we have the pitching side worked out to compete for the playoffs for several years. The bullpen can use some tweaking, but the starters are there it seems. We just need to fill in the puzzle with offensive players to get there. It’s up to Alderson to decide what to do. But you can see what he’s dealing with.

      The free agent signings haven’t worked out. Granderson’s OPS is now over .800 thanks to his hot streak. However, can me keep this up? He’s been at low .700 for 2 years. Cuddyer has been terrible, no way to really sugar coat it. He’s looked bad and produced terrible numbers.

      The young players just haven’t developed offensively. Flores, Legares, and Tejada all fit in here. d’Arnaud may be there, but he’s slowed by injuries. Do you wait for the development that may never happen? Or is it time to give up on these guys? Murphy is a good hitter, but not great and we all know about the defense. Duda is good but not great, and the track record isn’t long. But he’s the least of the problems.

      What do we do with Wright? We really just don’t know at this point. He could come back or career may be over. No one really knows.

      So this seems like a crucial point in building a good team for years to come. We’ll see how it turns out.

      The comparions to the Cubs, Royals, Astros, etc… All I can say here is that the Mets never really had seasons bad enough to land the top picks in the draft, unlike some of these teams. Their terrible years have led to picks such as Bryant, Correa, Cole, Buxton, etc… In baseball, probably more than any of the other major sports, landing the top 5 picks matter more since everything else is just a lottery ticket. The Mets I guess are guilty of not being bad enough to do that.

      • argonbunnies June 30, 2015 at 4:57 pm
        The short-sighted attempts to remain “competitive” from 2011-2013 were horribly stupid, given that the Wilpons weren’t going to invest in any of those seasons at the trade deadline even if the roster did overperform to that point. Tanking for draft picks would obviously have been wiser, given no chance of playoffs.

        So, we’ve got what we’ve got, which are a bunch of pitchers drafted by Minaya or traded for by Alderson, and not much else.

        What trades can the Mets make to balance the team? We have quality to give, but where’s the quality to get back? The Cubs don’t seem interested. Well, how about the Astros? The Astros have 4 useful youngsters / minor leaguers who are probably not as untouchable as Rizzo/Bryant/Russell, largely because they’re probably not as good. They would, however, give the Mets better odds of developing a plus hitter or two going forward, and a trade would give the Astros better odds of turning this year’s hot start into an actual playoff berth.

        So, what would you say to either Syndergaard or Matz for some combo of Domingo Santana, Brett Phillips, Tony Kemp, and Jon Singleton? http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2015?list=hou

        • Extragooey June 30, 2015 at 6:09 pm
          Well, since there’s really no way to tank in baseball game by game as in you can’t throw a game intentionally without making it look obvious, the only way to do it would have been to completely gut the team. That includes trading Wright away. Not sure Met fans would have liked that back then. In hindsight, it was probably the right way to go.

          Astros would seems like the right trade partner. I would think now that Syndergaard has proven that he can dominate major league lineups, his value is much higher than just being a prospect. Even though Matz had only one good outing under his belt, I’d say his value is higher as well. With that said, those guys you mentioned are pretty much still untested. Perhaps a package may work. However, I would love to trade Syndergaard or Matz for young talent that’s already tested in the majors.

        • argonbunnies July 2, 2015 at 5:03 am
          I’d prefer tested talent too. Santana and Singleton have the same strikeout issues that have derailed many prospects. However, I can’t think of any young MLB hitters who are good enough to be worth Syndergaard but are not viewed as untouchable by their teams. Can you?

          Perhaps there are guys who tore up the minors, floundered in MLB, but still have plenty of time to put it together in MLB — Wil Myers, Javier Baez? Are they farther along in the learning curve, or safer bets? Or is it better to go for guys who have NOT yet failed in MLB, on the hopes that they’ll transition smoothly?

        • Extragooey July 2, 2015 at 12:33 pm
          You’re probably right about them being untouchables. Betts? Machado?
  9. Dan Capwell July 1, 2015 at 7:42 am
    I think it ultimately will be Syndergaard that goes in a trade. Harvey and deGrom are nearly untouchable and Matz is both a lefty and a local product. Noah is essentially the #4 starter on this team, although he has a very high ceiling.

    I like AB’s trade proposal with Houston. I think it makes more sense than trading with the Cubs, especially when there is a possibility of them clashing with the Mets frequently, either for a playoff berth or in an actual series.

    This is a situation eerily similar to the early 1970’s when the Mets had three top pitchers and then a hard thrower in Nolan Ryan, whom they considered expendable. We know how that worked out.

    • Dan42 July 1, 2015 at 11:50 am
      Fortunately Fregosi is retired, but the lesson that there is no such thing as a sure thing lives on.
    • Dan B July 1, 2015 at 6:01 pm
      Do you really see the Mets paying for all these pitchers in a few years? Noah might be #4 in this rotation but he will want top of the rotation money eventually. I know its a long ways off, but I don’t see the Mets putting that kind of money into the back end of the rotation when they also need to buy hitters (they can’t trade for top hitters without giving up top pitching).
      • argonbunnies July 2, 2015 at 5:10 am
        Right now it’s hard to imagine the Mets paying big money to anyone, regardless of where they’d fit on the team. If they ever do start winning, though, and attendance picks up, then it’s not inconceivable that the Wilpons will return to the high-payroll days of 2005-2010. That should be enough to covers arms AND bats.

        …unless 2005-2010 was all based on free Madoff money, in which case, I guess we get to abandon hope forever… it’s not like our farm system is ever going to do BETTER than producing 5 stud pitchers and an elite closer…

        • Extragooey July 2, 2015 at 10:38 am
          I agree, people make it seem like the Wilpons have never spent big before. However, the Madoff money can’t be discounted. Many have said that is the reason why we observe Bonilla day every July 1st and will do so until 2035.

          It would be a PR and baseball management disaster if they don’t attempt to sign Harvey or deGrom through their arbitration years and beyond. These guys deserve to be locked up, assuming they remain healthy.

  10. argonbunnies July 2, 2015 at 5:21 am
    I wonder if the Cubs would accept Zack Wheeler for Javier Baez? Two guys whose stock has dropped for different reasons. Baez whiffed in half his MLB ABs, while Wheeler generated the narrative that he was improving as a pitcher (unwarranted in my eyes, but accepted by many in baseball) before getting a big-deal injury that’s becoming more and more routine. Neither guy seems ready to help immediately; both guys’ teams may have replacements.

    One theory holds that the Cubs would never trade Baez because of his MVP potential (40-HR middle infielder), but the fact that they’re winning now might get them thinking a little more short-term, and Wheeler’s rehab schedule is much more predictable than Baez’s development. Really, though, the main thing I’m betting on is that the Cubs were disgusted watching Baez swing and miss every day last year and would sell more easily now.

    Anyone out there who thinks Wheeler will be an ace (I don’t) should propose a different Mets pitcher for this trade; the Cubs would more likely say yes to someone who could help them right now.

    Syndergaard for Baez seems steep to me. Even if we need Baez more, his bust odds are still too high. I’d probably deal Noah for Baez + Alcantara, though.

    • Extragooey July 2, 2015 at 11:08 am
      Well, the Cubs would most likely want to move Castro more than Baez I’d think. There’s no room so one of them has to go. But yeah, I’d say Baez’s stock has dropped. Although brief, both their major league production has had big affects on their value. Syndergaard’s numbers give the Mets that much more leverage in any trade discussions and the opposite is true for Baez who put up just awful numbers. But he’s still young and the upside is still there.
      • Dan Capwell July 2, 2015 at 1:18 pm
        Wheeler for Baez and Alcantara is about as far as I’d go. Syndergaard, despite his short stint in the majors to date is probably a surer thing than either Cubbie. Wheeler is a bit more of a gamble for the Cubs. If I’m being asked to take a risk on two players with spotty records in the majors like Baez and Alcantara, they gotta take my enigma in return.