Tag Archives: mlb rumors

Today in Baseball: Is Wilmer “The Future”?

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I remember on June 10th, 2003, when some guy named José Reyes played his first game in a Mets uniform. Entering the game, he was ranked the #3 prospect in the MLB by “Baseball America.” The 20-year-old Dominican shortstop was so highly touted that, on his debut, the Mets gave out mini-bats with Reyes’ picture and “the future” plastered all over them.

So yeah, he was pretty good.

He ended up playing nine seasons with the Mets. In those nine seasons, he totaled 370 stolen bases, a .292 average, 99 triples, 81 home runs, and 423 RBIs.

Here’s a clip just to remind you how electric Jose was…

…how fast he was…

…and how much the fans loved him.

And then, after a phenomenal 2011 season in Flushing, he was gone.

On December 7th, 2011, Reyes inked a deal with the Miami Marlins.

Reyes has expressed that he wanted to stay in Flushing. As the story goes, the only reason he bolted is that Sandy Alderson didn’t even schedule a meeting with him.

But, regardless of the reasoning behind it, Reyes is gone, as he has been for the last four years. And ever since he left, the Mets shortstop position has been constantly in flux.

Since Reyes has been gone, we’ve seen 276 games of Ruben Tejada, 126 games of Omar Quintanilla, 51 games of Wilmer Flores, 28 games of Justin Turner, 27 games of Ronny Cedeño, 8 games of Wilfredo Tovar, 5 games of Jordany Valdespin, a game of Eric Campbell, and even a single game of David Wright at shortstop!

Wilmer Flores, the third man on that illustrious list, is slotted as the Mets’ Opening Day shortstop.

It’s becoming increasingly evident with each passing day that Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins have a lot of faith in Flores. They’ve passed on Troy Tulowitzki, Ian Desmond, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jung-Ho Kang, Jed Lowrie, Hanley Ramirez, and more, in favor of sticking with Wilmer.

This aforementioned faith in Flores isn’t unwarranted…

The 23-year-old is taller than the average shortstop, standing at 6’3″. He possesses nice power and has the potential to become a very good hitter.

While he often looks like a subpar and sloppy defensive shortstop, the numbers say otherwise… In 51 games at shortstop this past season, he had a .979 fielding percentage, which would put him tied with Adeiny Hechavarria for 7th amongst all shortstops last season (albeit small sample size). Wilmer had just four errors in 51 games, or .078 per game- during his Mets tenure, Jose Reyes, largely looked at as a nice fielder, averaged .1 error per game. While Flores is far from a defensive wiz, he’s an acceptable defensive shortstop. His lack of fancy plays, among other factors, unfairly gives him this reputation as a defensive liability.

Do I want the Mets to acquire a better, more proven shortstop? Yes, of course.

However, I don’t think that they will do that until AT LEAST the end of next season.

Flores certainly isn’t Reyes… He certainly isn’t “the future.”

But one thing is for sure- Flores has a whole lot of potential. The question is- can he make good on it?

What if Wednesday: Justin Upton

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In the offseason of 2012-13, the Mets made a push for Justin Upton. Upton, then of the Arizona Diamondbacks, was just 25 years old and was considered to be one of the best outfielders in the game.

Supposedly, Sandy Alderson was pushing hard for Upton, trying to make a trade work for a while. Eventually, this effort failed.

Upton was traded along with Chris Johnson to the Atlanta Braves in January of 2013 in exchange for Martin Prado, Randall Delgado and three prospects- Zeke Spruill, Nick Ahmed, and Brandon Drury.

But what would a Mets trade for Upton look like? What would change as a result of this acquisition?

  • The Mets trade Daniel Murphy, Jenrry Mejia, Wilmer Flores, and Rafael Montero to the Diamondbacks in exchange for Justin Upton and Chris Owings.
  • Let’s take a brief look at how this one trade two winters ago would’ve impacted the way this offseason (2014-15) has played out…
    • With Justin Upton on the Mets, the Braves clearly can’t send him along to San Diego. The Padres killer offseason comes out a notch below where it is today.
    • The Pads’ lose out on Upton, and so, have no need to trade Seth Smith to the Mariners. He remains in San Diego.
    • Even with Upton, the Mets still sign Cuddyer to fill out the outfield, forming the “Norfolk Three” with Upton, David Wright, and Cuddyer.
    • Because Martin Prado is never a Diamondback, he can’t be traded to the Yankees in the summer of 2014. As a result, the Yanks can’t send him to Miami. Prado is still a Brave, and Nathan Eovaldi is still a Marlin.
    • Now that the Marlins don’t have Prado, they have no reason to trade Casey McGehee to the San Francisco Giants, and he thus continues to call Miami home.
    • With the Giants missing out on Chase Headley, and now not acquiring Casey McGehee, they’re in some big trouble at third base. They make a greater push for Asdrubal Cabrera, ultimately signing him, as he spurns the Tampa Bay Rays.
    • The Rays don’t sign Cabrera to add to their surplus of infield talent, and thus, all of these Ben Zobrist trade rumors (particularly to the Mets) are, more or less, obsolete.
    • The D-Backs don’t trade Didi Gregorius to the New York Yankees, as they have nobody else at shortstop, with Chris Owings a Met and Nick Ahmed still a Brave.
    • The Yankees need to find another shortstop, so they go out and place the winning bid on Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang.
    • And lastly, the Mets aren’t the subject of every shortstop rumor, because they already have their shortstop of the future in Chris Owings…
  • Now we can rewind a little bit…
    • The Braves need to acquire another outfielder to accompany Jason Heyward and BJ Upton after failing to acquire the latter’s brother. With all of the big-time corner outfielders off of the market, the Braves really have nowhere to go… They place utility-man Evan Gattis in left field.
    • In the 2013 season, the Braves don’t perform to the level that they did in the “real world” without Justin Upton, but they still just barely sneak into the playoffs with the weak NL East. They get swept in the NLDS by the LA Dodgers.
    • The Mets don’t sign Curtis Granderson in the winter of 2013 because they already have Upton and Lagares, and plan on signing another outfielder the following offseason. He ends up back with the Yankees on a lesser contract.
  • And many, many, many more things would’ve changed if Upton was a Met…

What else do you think would’ve changed? Let me know in the COMMENT section!

Trade Talk Tuesday: Troy Tulowitzki

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As we’ve heard since mid-July, the Mets have been speaking to the Rockies about Troy Tulowitzki for quite some time now. And every time another rumor about these talks pops up, it seems like no more than a mean tease to us Mets fans. But, through the frequency of these talks, it seems likely that it’s more than that…

“Tulo” has been a premier shortstop in the MLB since entering the league in 2006. He has blossomed even further, becoming one of the best hitters in the National League, arguably third behind only Andrew McCutchen and Giancarlo Stanton.

There are only two concerns with Tulowitzki- his proneness to injury and his large contract. He’s guaranteed $129 million over the next 7 years, and he’ll be 37 years old when the contract expires. In terms of injuries, so far in his career, “Tulo” has had: torn quadriceps tendon, cut right palm, fractured wrist, left groin surgery, fractured right rib, injured left hip leading to labral repair surgery.

However, regardless of his downfalls, Tulowitzki is still one of the premier players in the MLB, and his addition would push the Mets over the edge and make them a potential World Series contender.

Here’s my proposal:

Mets get: Troy Tulowitzki, Rex Brothers, cash considerations
Rockies get: Noah Syndergaard, Dillon Gee, Dilson Herrera, Kevin Plawecki

This trade makes sense for both sides…

The Mets are in need of a shortstop and are clearly interested in Tulowitzki, so it goes without saying that he’d be a tremendous addition. Rex Brothers would also be a nice addition, as the Mets have been looking for a lefty bullpen arm to accompany Josh Edgin. Also, the additional cash considerations could cover a portion of Tulo’s contract.

Now, this trade also makes the Rockies more adept for future contention. They get the ace they’ve been longing for in Noah Syndergaard… Dillon Gee, who they showed tremendous interest in at the Winter Meetings, would also serve as their #2 or #3 pitcher. Dilson Herrera, a top second base prospect who has a great bat and is also a great fielder, would assume the role as the team’s starting second baseman. And Kevin Plawecki, a top catching prospect who has a nice bat, would become the team’s catcher of the future, as Wilin Rosario hasn’t been reliable enough to assume this role.

DJ LeMahieu, the team’s current second baseman, would shift to shortstop, a position that he played until midway through his college experience.

To make this deal even more enticing for Colorado, all three of the prospects that they receive are 23 or younger, and they all are expected to be fully MLB-ready by mid-season. Also, Dillon Gee is only 28 years old and won’t hit free agency until 2017.

Check out what the Mets potential lineup would be if this trade went through:

C: Travis d’Arnaud
1B: Lucas Duda
2B: Daniel Murphy
3B: David Wright
SS: Troy Tulowitzki
LF: Curtis Granderson
CF: Juan Lagares
RF: Michael Cuddyer

Now that… That’s a playoff team!

Let me know what you think about this potential trade in the COMMENT section! Would the Rockies do it? Should the Mets do it? Does this make the Mets a playoff team?

Nick Markakis signs with Atlanta Braves

MLB: JUL 20 Rays at Orioles

Outfielder Nick Markakis has signed a contract with the Atlanta Braves. The contract will be for 4-years, $45 million. This deal was first reported by Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan.

The former Baltimore Oriole is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, and while he’s never been selected to an All Star Game, he has been a very good hitter throughout his career.

After trading away one of the best outfielders in the MLB just a few weeks ago, they’ve just signed another player in that same category. As of now, Markakis will man right field while the Upton brothers will be placed in left and center field.

That is, unless Justin Upton is traded. He has been on the trading block for virtually all of this offseason, with teams like the Mariners and A’s at the forefront of that conversation. With the addition of another outfielder, this could be the end for Justin Upton in Atlanta.

While Markakis is surely a good fit in Atlanta, this pairing, just like any other, is not without its pitfalls. Virtually all of his power is towards right field, and what with Turner Field having a quite deeper right field than Oriole Park at Camden Yards, a slight dip in his home run numbers can be expected.

In regard to his old team, the Baltimore Orioles, several former teammates of his have been publicly disappointed by the move:

The Orioles are set for a large regression next season. With Nelson Cruz in Seattle, Markakis in Atlanta, and Andrew Miller likely on his way out, the O’s are on the verge of losing their most productive hitter, fielder, and reliever, respectively. As a result, they’ve already seen a major drop off in right field (now David Lough) and at designated hitter (now Steve Pearce). If they do indeed lose out on Miller, their bullpen will be in shambles as well. With the re-emergence of the Red Sox and Blue Jays, don’t be surprised if the O’s go from a 96-win team to an 80-win one…

Josh Donaldson Traded to Toronto Blue Jays

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All-Star Third Baseman Josh Donaldson has been traded by the Oakland A’s to the Toronto Blue Jays. The deal was a 4-1 trade. Toronto gave up Brett Lawrie and three prospects: Sean Nolin, Kendall Graveman, and Franklin Barreto.

The addition of superstar Josh Donaldson, who is just as good a fielder as he is a hitter, is the second huge acquisition that the Blue Jays have made thus far this offseason (see: Russell Martin). Adding Donaldson at third base elevates the Blue Jays tremendously on both sides of the ball. They still have two major weaknesses and one minor one with Kevin Pillar in LF, Dalton Pompey in CF, and Ryan Goins at 2B, respectively. If they can solve as many as two of those weak spots, they’d be in a position to be a playoff contender in the AL East.

Brett Lawrie is the only proven MLB talent that Oakland receives in this deal. He was the 40th best prospect in the MLB in 2010, and as a result, became a fixture in the Jays’ starting lineup upon first being called up in late-2011. He still has tremendous potential, as he is a solid power hitter, has an abundance of speed, and is quite a good fielder, but there has been one thing that has consistently put a damper on his career progress: injuries. He’s only 24, and yet, the most games that he’s played in a season was 125 in 2012. If he can stay healthy, Lawrie has a huge upside for the A’s.

Sean Nolin, Kendall Graveman, and particularly Franklin Barreto all seem to be important prospects for the A’s going forward. Nolin, a southpaw, and Graveman, a righty, are both starting pitchers that are expected to be MLB-ready by this coming season. Barreto, a shortstop, slots as the A’s third best prospect. His great speed and above-average fielding ability are enough to make Billy Beane and his cronies salivate with excitement.

Sources are saying that the Oakland A’s aren’t done making blockbuster deals. Jeff Samardzija, who they acquired from the Cubs in a blockbuster deal last summer, looks like he could be on the way out. Some rumors say that he’s on the verge of being traded to the Chicago White Sox, while others are saying that he may be sent to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Justin Upton and Evan Gattis. Whatever the deal is, the A’s are going to make another trade, and in all likelihood, Jeff Samardzija will be the centerpiece.

Today in Baseball: Boston Just Got a WHOLE Lot Better

Hanley Ramirez, Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Late last night, we found out that Hanley Ramirez was flying into Boston to finalize a deal with the Red Sox. At about 1 PM ET on today, November 24th, this rumor was confirmed- Hanley signed with the Red Sox for four years, $88 million.

Then, at about 7 AM ET this morning, Jon Heyman tweeted that Pablo Sandoval would be headed to Boston as well….

During the course of about six hours, the Red Sox went from being a mediocre team coming off a 91-loss season to a bona fide World Series contender.

These two guys have been absolutely phenomenal in recent years. Let’s check out what these two combine to have accomplished thus far in the MLB…

  • 17 years of MLB service (Ramirez-10, Sandoval-7)
  • 5 All-Star Game appearances (Ramirez-3, Sandoval-2)
  • 3 World Series wins (Ramirez-0, Sandoval-3)
  • 2,349 hits (Ramirez-1403, Sandoval-946)
  • 297 home runs (Ramirez-191, Sandoval-106)
  • And much, much more….

The Red Sox positional lineup is now as follows:

C: Christian Vazquez
1B: Mike Napoli
2B: Dustin Pedroia
3B: Pablo Sandoval
SS: Hanley Ramirez (*he may end up moving to outfield in order to keep Xander Bogaerts in the lineup)
LF: Yoenis Cespedes
CF: Rusney Castillo
RF: Shane Victorino
DH: David Ortiz

That team has insane levels of power, especially considering that they’re playing in Fenway Park, one of, if not the, most hitter-friendly ballparks in the MLB.

Boston still has a lot of cap space, and a lot of young assets, so it seems as though these two moves aren’t the only high-profile ones that the Red Sox will make this offseason. Maybe they bring back Jon Lester… Maybe they trade Xander Bogaerts and other prospects for Cole Hamels…

Whether or not the Red Sox are done making moves remains to be seen, but today, we know that the Red Sox will, once again, be serious competitors in the American League.

Will they go from Worst-to-First again? COMMENT your answer to this question and YOUR RESPONSE to these moves as a whole!

Adam LaRoche signs with the Chicago White Sox

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First baseman Adam LaRoche has signed a two-year, $25 million contract with the Chicago White Sox, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. The move was later confirmed by MLB insiders Chris Cotillo and Ken Rosenthal.

The move comes as somewhat of a surprise, as the White Sox already have reigning AL Rookie of the Year, Jose Abreu, at first base. One of the two will likely move to Designated Hitter, and CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes thinks it’s Abreu who’s more likely to make the move.

LaRoche is 35 years old, and will turn 36 within the first week or two of the 2015 season. He was a Gold Glover and Silver Slugger in 2012, and finished 6th in NL MVP Voting that season.

Mets fans should be happy to get LaRoche, a notorious “Met Killer,” out of the division.

Today in Baseball: Welcome to the Mets, Michael Cuddyer!

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Well, I just sat down to write this week’s “Today in Baseball” piece. I took a couple of seconds to think about what I’d write. I wrote down the title, “Jacob deGrom: Rookie of the Year,” and planned to write it after the award was officially announced (in hopes that my confidence wouldn’t backfire). With my plan set to happen later on in the day, I clicked onto Facebook. Right there, at the top of my new feed, was a post from SNY: “The Mets have signed Michael Cuddyer!”

And there was my article.

Talk about timing…