Tag Archives: Yoenis Cespedes

My Plan for the Mets Offseason

May 2, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (19) reacts after swinging for a strike against the Los Angeles Angels during the eighth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

I originally posted this article on Amazin’ Avenue as part of their AAOP (Amazin’ Avenue Offseason Plan) Contest. Check it out there!

“We enter this offseason in a far better position than I have ever experienced during my tenure as the Mets’ General Manager. We are coming off of a season in which we played in the World Series, for Pete’s sake! And that has had a huge impact on just about everything- heck, even the famed AAOP contest is starting about a month after schedule!

I had you fooled- all of you guys… You thought that I didn’t know what I was doing. But when I had a lineup containing Johnny Monell, Danny Muno, Eric Campbell, Darrell Ceciliani and John Mayberry in the middle of June, I knew what I had in store. I knew that Michael Conforto would be ready by the end of July. I was already planning to swing a couple of trades for impact bench bats, a couple nice relievers, and a superstar lineup-altering position player. Well, Kelly, Juan, Tyler, Addison, and Yoenis all came into Daddy’s arms, and they all helped bring my plan of success to fruition.

We missed the big-prize by three games (in reality, just about seven outs), but we are not done yet. When I said I was expecting 90 wins before the season, you guys laughed in my face. Welp, look how that turned out. Now all you need to do is trust me…

I will bring you to the promised land.”

-Richard Lynn “Sandy” Alderson (from this point forward, any “quotes” should be “attributed” to this great man himself)

 

Arbitration and Non-Tenders

Arb-Eligible Players

  • Matt Harvey- $4.7MM
  • Ruben Tejada- $2.5MM
  • Lucas Duda- $6.8MM
  • Addison Reed- $5.7MM
  • Jenrry Mejia- $2.0MM
  • Jeurys Familia- $3.3MM
  • Josh Edgin- $600K

Non-tender Eric Young Jr., Buddy Carlyle, Carlos Torres, Anthony Recker
“These guys have been a pain in my behind for far too long. EY is a nice burst of energy and has legs quicker than American Pharoah, but he doesn’t fit at any position and did nothing to warrant sticking around here after I traded to bring him back to NY this summer. Buddy far exceeded my expectations in 2014, but he suffered from injuries this year and couldn’t even get on the field, so we had to let him go. At this point, I’m much more comfortable having Alex Carlos Torres pinch-running than I am putting him on the bump with the game on the line. And Anthony, boy I just don’t understand that kid… He looks like he’s straight out of a Marvel comic, with super-strength, but the man can hardly even hit the ball out of the infield.”

 

One Big Trade

Send Lucas Duda, Jonathan Niese, Jayce Boyd and an international signing slot to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Marcus Semien

Semien

“Lucas and Jon have both been key parts of this team over the past few years and I appreciate all that they’ve given us. And Jayce has always been able to hit at every level in our organization, but we simply don’t have a fit for him on the current or future roster. That’s why I called up my broseph hermano brother from another mother mentor Billy Beane. I knew that he would have interest in all three of our guys…

…Lucas is a tremendous upgrade over Mark Canha at first, providing great value as both a hitter and a fielder. Jon has the stuff the be a key southpaw in the middle of a rotation, and the A’s literally do not have a lefty pitcher in their top-6 SP options. And I knew that Jayce would be an interesting guy for Billy, for two simple reasons: 1) he always hits for a high AVG and OBP; and 2) he’s been able to play formidably at all three OF positions as well as 1B, so he provides the key “utility factor” that Billy loves.

And on our side of the deal, Marcus fits like a charm. I’m not quite comfortable throwing Dilson into a full-time role at second base just yet… And so this deal allows me to move Wilmer to second- his natural position- and replace him at shortstop with a top-10 WAR shortstop who has a whole lotta potential.

Billy was willing to move Mr. Semien for a few reasons… First off, he was a bit frustrated by Marcus’s lack of defensive production, but this just doesn’t worry me because I think that his defense will improve drastically as he matures. Also, three of Billy’s top-8 prospects are shortstops (Barreto, Martin, Pinder), and they should all be ready in a timely fashion, so it only makes sense for him to clear out the SS position before there is a major logjam. And finally—what I think was the most important thing in swaying Billy towards this deal—was that I promised a dinner at Peter Luger’s Steakhouse on me next time the A’s come to town.”

 

Free Agents Galore!

“I’m happy as heck that Fred and Jeff are giving me some more leeway to increase the payroll this offseason! I look forward to showing up to the Winter Meetings without being emasculated by my fellow-executives, telling me ‘your team is from New York, and you spend money like you’re from Middle-of-Nowhere, Missouri…’ That really hurt my feelings. I cried. A lot.”

Sign Chris Davis to a Six-Year, $132 million deal, with a player opt-out clause after four years (AAV of $22mil).

davis

“Chris Davis is an absolute no-brainer for me. Especially once I traded Lucas, I knew I was going to make this move. Chris will be our impact bat this offseason. I was originally planning to re-sign Yoenis, and then I decided I was going to offer a long-term deal to Jason Heyward. But then I realized that we have a Gold Glove winner in CF, one who we are paying $2.5mil per year. If we’re adding a big-time bat, it had to be at first base. A dominant first baseman is the key to a great lineup, and while Duda was superb at times, he just didn’t fill that role.”

Sign Joakim Soria to a Three-Year, $22.5 million deal (AAV of $7.5mil).

soria

“We saw it during the World Series- we need a top-of-the-line setup man to bridge the gap to Familia. In August, my plan was to re-sign Tyler Clippard to fill this role, but he was totally ineffective in the playoffs and the end of the regular season, so he was out of the question for me. Joakim can absolutely be that guy.

I was originally between Soria and Darren O’Day, but I decided to go with Joakim for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Darren is going to command a bit more money than Joakim, for very similar production. Also, Darren is notably a submarine pitcher, and I don’t know how comfortable I feel about that. Sidearm guys have tended to either have their production fall off early, or they’ve been susceptible to significant injuries. Soria is an experienced, two-time All Star who is coming off of a good season. We’re damn excited to have a back end of the rotation consisting of Addison- Jo (that’s my new nickname for Soria, you like it?)- Jeurys.”

Sign Gerardo Parra to a Three-Year, $25.5 million deal (AAV of $8.5mil).

parra

“Well, we really needed a lefty platoon-mate for Juan out in center field, and Gerardo absolutely got the job done. We were quite interested in him at the trade deadline, but Milwaukee’s asking price was way too high, so we passed him up and ended up going with Yoenis. But now that Gerardo is out on the open market and we’ve moved on from Cespedes, he really fits the bill for our club. He’s coming off of the best offensive season of his career (with a OFF of 7.5) and what was tied for the best base-running season of his career (posting a 2.0 BsR). And he’s got some great righty splits, hitting for a .303 AVG, 11 HRs, and 134 hits against righties this year. Having a dynamic duo of Juan and Gerardo in CF, each boasting different skillsets, suits our team well for success.”

Sign Jerry Blevins and Juan Uribe to One-Year, $1.5 million deals.

Flushing, NY - August 12: New York Mets vs Colorado Rockies at Citi Field. New York Mets left fielder Michael Cuddyer #23 hits an RBI single driving home New York Mets third baseman Juan Uribe #2 during the 4th inning. New York Mets third baseman Juan Uribe #2 is greeted in the dugout after he scores on the play. Wednesday, August 12, 2015. (Photo by Anthony Causi)

“These are two guys who we loved having last year. Both provide a veteran presence and are extremely valuable in their particular niche areas.

Jerry is a great LOOGY who, in combination with either Edgin or Gilmartin, should make our bullpen very lefty-proof. In his career, lefty hitters have hit at a .200 pace against Blevins, which provides some proof for just how good of a lefty specialist he can be for us. In his 2015 campaign with us, albeit small sample size (only 4.2 innings), he really did his job, not surrendering a hit, a walk, or a run in any of his outings. Now all we need is for him to watch out for those curbs and sidewalks…

And Mr. UriBAE provides so much for this team. He can absolutely play at 3B and SS, and could also potentially play 1B or 2B if we were in an absolute pinch. It is key to have a good backup 3B like Juan, to have good insurance in case Wright goes down for a period of time. Juan has an inherent clutch factor that can come up huge in our “meaningful September games” (wait, so is that phrase retired or…)! Welcoming Juan back has been our plan all along, and we know that he provides the versatility, skill, and clutch-factor that we so need off of our bench.”

Sign Mat Latos to a One-Year, $1 million deal.

Latos

“With Jon Niese now in Oakland, we were missing a 5th starter who can hold down the fort until Zack Wheeler returns mid-season from his TJ Surgery. We were first thinking of retaining big sexy the greatest player ever fan-favorite, Bartolo Colon, but because he wanted to start all year ‘round, and will likely command at least $6 million on the open market, we decided to look elsewhere. And then Mr. Latos fell into our lap. He’s coming off of a brutal year (hence the extremely low price), but let’s not forget who this guy is. He’s a 27-year-old who went 14-7 with a 3.16 ERA just two years ago. Latos is the ultimate reclamation project for Dan Warthen, and I do believe that he’ll be successful. Latos has huge potential and can be a very good #5 pitcher, and ultimately, a lethal option out of the ‘pen after Zack returns.”

 

So now, let’s check out what we have in store…

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“This team accomplished my financial goals, as well as filled every area of need that I laid out from the outset. My pre-determined budget was $120 million, and this time comes out far below that, at $115.85 million. And with that money, we’ve created a dominant back-end of the bullpen, a great platoon in center field that can be extremely productive, added a superstar power bat to our lineup, and solidified the middle infield.

This is the team. This is the team that will get the job done.”

My Game 3 Experience

imrs.php

Attending Game 3 of the NLDS was, by far, my greatest experience at a sporting event thus far in my young life. I remember being at the second-to-last postseason game at Shea Stadium in 2006, Game 6 of the NLCS. John Maine pitched a gem and Reyes hit a bomb as we outlasted Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals. We all know what happened in the next game, though, so the inevitable heartbreak of Mets fans happened once again.

This year, as the Mets clinched the NL East Crown for the first time since way back then in 2006, a glimmer of hope re-appeared. We, the Mets, were ready to enter the playoffs with one of the best pitching staffs and a drastically improved offense led by Yoenis Cespedes and the now-healthy David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud.

In Games 1 and 2, the Mets played all the way across the country, in Los Angeles, and even still, the absolute excitement felt by all long-suffering Mets fans could be felt everywhere. deGrom pitched arguably the best game of his career in Game 1, leading to an early victory. In Game 2, we saw a winning performance by the offense & Noah Syndergaard early on, but as a result of an unfortunate, despicable, and most importantly ILLEGAL slide by Chase Utley (BOOOOOOOOOOO), the Mets surrendered a loss to the Dodgers, tying the series at one a piece.

Entering Game 3, excitement was at an all time high… Fans were excited to see the first home postseason game for the Mets since we called Shea Stadium home in 2006; Matt Harvey was ready to step onto the mound, with no pitch cap this time around; Chase Utley was the most hated man in the state of New York; and the Mets were all but poised to take a 2-1 series lead in the NLDS.

I was fortunate enough to attend Game 3, and let me tell you, the environment there was like nothing I’d ever seen before…

The tone was set early on, when the Dodgers were being introduced. A loud and all encompassing “BOOOO” filled the stadium with every name announced, even that of the Dodgers’ massage therapist. But when Alex Anthony on the PA said, “infielder, #26, Chase Utley,” this intensity was taken to an all time high. I can’t even begin to put it in words. So here, watch this clip.

And then, our beloved Mets were introduced. When Ruben Tejada limped out of the dugout with a cane, wow was that a heartfelt moment. After being unfortunately injured by Chase Utley (BOOOOOOOOOOOOO) in Game 2, Tejada was diagnosed with a broken fibula that would put his season to an end. I know that I, along with my brother beside me and several other fans in our vicinity, got “the chills” as our shortstop walked to join his team.

The entire night, the fanbase was standing, screaming, and waving their orange rally flags in the air. Even when Matt Harvey surrendered a three-run-inning in the top of the Second, the Mets fans continued to stand strong.

We witnessed an absolute offensive explosion. The Mets put up 13 hits total and set a team record for postseason runs in one game with 13… Travis d’Arnaud went 3-5 with 3 RBIs, Curtis Granderson had 5 RBIs, and then there was Cespedes.

In the home half of the fourth, Yoenis Cespedes sent a three-run-homer into orbit, making the score 10-3. At this moment, everyone understood that this game was long over. Yo’ hit one of, if not the, most powerful home runs I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. The place erupted, and they began to play some sort of movie theme song as Cespedes rounded the bases, further adding to the larger-than-life feeling of him, his dinger, and the game as a whole.

Game 3 was a magical experience, highlighted by the incredible offensive output, but also furthered by the overlooked pitching performances. While Harvey was certainly not himself and had one of his toughest games of his career, he still only let up 3 runs (all of which came in the same inning), putting into perspective just how good he really is. And Bartolo Colon, the absolute fan-favorite, pitching two innings (striking out the first one in order) was not only exciting, but actually historic. See below:

While Game 4 was not as magical and we just couldn’t get the best of Clayton Kershaw (still undoubtedly the best in the world), Mets fans, like you and I, remain hopeful and excited. So put on your Mets gear & get ready for JdG and the Mets to play in Game 4 on Thursday.

 

#LGM

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!

Q&A Saturday- Michael Baron

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Michael Baron is a baseball fan, writer, and photographer. He works for MetsBlog.com, SNY.tv, and MLB.com. Follow him on twitter @michaelgbaron!

Trade Talk Tuesday: Yoenis Cespedes

cespedes

The Boston Red Sox have made it clear that Yoenis Cespedes, their high-profile trade deadline acquisition, will be on the trade block. They acquired him as the centerpiece of a deal that sent star pitcher, Jon Lester, to the Oakland A’s. Cespedes is an extremely fun player to watch, and has a good amount of star-power. Not to mention, his level of power is up there with some of the best home run hitters in the league.