New York Mets State Of The Union For 2016

The Mets made it to the World Series in 2015 after a subpar start heading into the Trade Deadline. With a ton of pitching and some decent positional players still on the roster, they could set themselves up for a lengthy run in the NL East. Especially if they can coordinate a couple of trades (Pitching for hitters).

The Mets made it to the World Series in 2015 after a subpar start heading into the Trade Deadline. With a ton of pitching and some decent positional players still on the roster, they could set themselves up for a lengthy run in the NL East. After tinkering with average players in acquisitions (other than Neil Walker – who is a comparable replacement for Daniel Murphy), it looks like GM Sandy Alderson is done constructing the offense for 2016.  I think this is a critical error.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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It has been a decent offseason for the New York Mets so far.  They have resigned Bartolo Colon, filled in the spot at 2B with an almost equal amount of talent for Daniel Murphy, while adding Asdrubal Cabrera is also a wise move.

The organization even resigned Jerry Blevins to the Relief Core.  There is still potential to add another arm or 2 for late innings in the Bullpen.

On Tuesday, it was announced the OF Alejandro De Aza has joined the club for a one year deal at $5.75 MIL (and $1.25 MIL in incentives).  This guy can play all 3 OF positions, but he really should be a 4th OF on a championship team caliber style of team.

The Wilpons will have the biggest offseason coming forth in recent vintage after this last years playoffs. It is time for this franchise to reassert themselves as a big market club. Signing Yoenis Cespedes to a longterm contract would have gone a long way to repairing the damage the ownership has leashed out on the fanbase ever since the club moved over to Citi Field. You could bet a great deal that Cespedes would help the venue sustain attendance growth for a few years at least - and would be well worth the invested dollars thrown his way. It looks like this wont be the case.

The Wilpons will have the biggest offseason coming forth in recent vintage after this last years playoffs. It is time for this franchise to reassert themselves as a big market club. Signing Yoenis Cespedes to a longterm contract would have gone a long way to repairing the damage the ownership has leashed out on the fanbase ever since the club moved over to Citi Field. You could bet a great deal that Cespedes would help the venue sustain attendance growth for a few years at least – and would be well worth the invested dollars thrown his way. It looks like this wont be the case.

He will turn 32 in the coming year.  He combined for a 3 Slash of .261/.319/.436 with 31 Extra Base Hits over 325 AB. 

These are normal numbers for his career trajectory of .267/.331/.405 for his career.  De Aza has a career .756 OPS against Righties as opposed to a .657 clip or LHP.

I really thought the club should have gone after Yoenis Cespedes.  Offer him the $22 – $25 MIL a year for what it will take to lock him up for 5 – 6 years.  You could have backloaded the contract and also extend an opt out clause after 3 years.

Lagares is a .753 OPS hitter versus Left Handers, while he has only operated at a .627 OPS mark versus Right Handers. 

Nice signing yes, but this should create a platoon situation with Lagares, and is not an upgrade for the club overall by much.  Resigning Cespedes should be the move!

If New York can’t budge that much more, then why not trade Granderson – and then use that $15 MIL towards signing Cespedes over the next few years.  If a backloaded deal is done, that could be close to what he would earn in 2016 anyway.

I believe the Mets will stop upgrading with offensive moves for now.  It is wrong to think this is enough to win in October. I would love the Wilpons to authorize a blockbuster move from the ownership chair.  Whether that is done now or midseason, it may need to be addressed.

A lot of pressure now  lands on the feet of Michael Conforto.  

Cespedes is the kind of player to bring in fans especially to the ballpark.  There is no doubt he is one of the most electrifying batters to watch in the MLB right now.  He may be worth an additional 4 – 5K fans a game to the bottom line. 

New York will never have such a talented young Pitching Staff again like this.  Team Controllable for the next 5 years on most guys.  Only Matt Harvey is on Arbitration this season.

The organization is sitting around $108 MIL in total team salary, and could easily afford to bring in a premiere player like Cespedes.  There is no reason the Mets couldn’t carry a $130 MIL+ payroll. 

Recently acquired Neil Walker, Bartolo Colon, De Aza and Blevins are the only 3 players to become Free Agents after 2016 as well.  This is another reason why you can sign a player like Cespedes.  The club will have some cost certainty for the next few years.

2017 should see Asdorubal Cabrera/Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores all take up the middle infield still.  Bringing in Cabrera will give Tejada a chance to fully health from his leg after the Chase Utley slide in the playoffs.

New York will be able to give Walker a Qualifying Offer after next year as well.  Meaning with the pick compensation for Murphy this year – they could stack up yet another player from a QO rejection.

David Wright used to be the be all and end all when it came to the Mets, and now they just need him to be an above league average Third Baseman and remain upright.

Lucas Duda still had 60 Extra Base hits for the year and a .838 OPS despite only clubbing 4 HRs over the last 2 months of the year.  He will be in Arbitration for the next 2 seasons, and has put up nice offensive numbers since winning the Starting job over Ike Davis a few years ago.

Travis d’Arnaud hit for an .825 OPS with 12 HRs and 41 RBI in just 239 AB during the 2015 season.  If you can keep him out of the sick bay in 2016. he may put up ALL – Star numbers from the backstoppers position.

Michael Cuddyer gave the Mets one of the best 'get out of jail free cards there is - by opting out of his $13 MIL salary in 2016. The club was able to sign Bartolo Colon to a 1 YR/Deal worth $7.25 MIL right after. The management took care of one of the glaring needs already this winter by trading for Neil Walker. They also signed Asdrubal Cabrera to a 2 Year deal, with the notion he can backup at SS/3B and 2B over the next few years. If the club can sign a platoon CF - or upgrade the position entirely, than the table should be set for a 95 win campaign in 2016 - with a realistic chance to win the NL East once again.

Michael Cuddyer gave the Mets one of the best ‘get out of jail free cards there is – by opting out of his $13 MIL salary in 2016. The club was able to sign Bartolo Colon to a 1 YR/Deal worth $7.25 MIL right after – and also bring in De Aza for a 1 YR/$4.5 MIL deal with the vacated cash. The management also ook care of one of the glaring needs already this winter by trading for Neil Walker. They also signed Asdrubal Cabrera to a 2 Year deal, with the notion he can back up at SS/3B and 2B over the next few years.   In particular, he could move over to Second Base in 2017 should Walker leave in Free Agency.

Manning the Outfield beyond the Infield grass in 2016 is Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, Alejandro De Aza and Michael Conforto as of right now.

Granderson has a bounce back campaign after struggling in his last year for the Yankees and the first year for the Mets. He scored 98 Runs, clubbed 26 HRs and Walked 98 times.

A 3 Slash of .259/.364/.457 is well within expectations for the man.  Grandy finished 18th in NL MVP Voting – and was one of the top leadoff performers in the Major Leagues.  He is signed with the club through 2017.

It will be interesting to see what Conforto can do in his sophomore season in the bigs.  His .841 OPS scattered over 174 AB is a small sample size, but if his 9 HRs and 26 RBI are any indication of what he will bring to the club in the future, they may have a budding superstar on their hands.

Conforto also cracked 2 HRs in Game #4 of the World Series versus the Royals – and 3 jacks over 30 AB in postseason overall.  This is good news if the club is playing in October annually.

There is no doubt that Juan Lagares could win a Gold Glove with a full season in CF, however I think the franchise is better off having him as the 4th OF with this championship pedigree of a club – and not in a split time scenario..

Alejandro De Aza is capable of playing all 3 OF positions – and will provide great depth.  But if a platoon idea is the main idea behind the acquisition, he has only played 17 games in CF since the end of the 2014 season.

Yoenis Cespedes led all LF for HRs with 35 on the campaign in 2015. He picked a contract year for his best season to date out of the 4 years he has been in the Major Leagues. Cespedes hit 17 HRs with the Mets in 2 months, after smacking out just 18 in the first four months with Detroit. Cespedes finished in the top 40 for both leagues in respective big fly's, and was tie for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz. By signing Cespedes for 5 - 6 years, playing him in CF for 2016 and 2017, before switching him into RF when Granderson leaves after 2017, this would have been a better move. By then Conforto could be an elite player, and the defense of Lagares would really help out.

Yoenis Cespedes led all LF for HRs with 35 on the campaign in 2015. He picked a contract year for his best season to date out of the 4 years he has been in the Major Leagues. Cespedes hit 17 HRs with the Mets in 2 months, after smacking out just 18 in the first four months with Detroit. Cespedes finished in the top 40 for both leagues in respective big fly’s, and was tie for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz. By signing Cespedes for 5 – 6 years, playing him in CF for 2016 and 2017, before switching him into RF when Granderson leaves after 2017, this would have been a better move. By then Conforto could be an elite player, and the defense of Lagares would really help out as Cespedes hit his early 30’s.

As for as the pitching goes.. Matt Harvey definitely asserted himself onto the scene in the World Series, and despite what others said about leaving him in the pivotal game the Mets ended up blowing their, he performed admirably.

Hopefully the Mets and he can put the whole Innings debacle entirely behind them.

mets-matt-harveyjpg-8f9bfa8990d2a9c4

Harvey could really contend for NL Cy Young Award in 2016, and look to cross the 200 Innings threshold for the 1st time in the regular season.  He is starting his 1st of 3 years of Arbitration, and will look to dominate the league.

Jacob deGrom backed up his Rookie Of The Year Award in 2014 – with an ALL – Star campaign, in which he went 14 – 7, with a 2.54 ERA and 205 SO in 30 Game Starts.  His efforts translated into a 7th place NL Cy Young Vote.

Noah Syndergaard was the best pitcher in the Mets rotation at times last year, and finished 4th in the NL Rookie of the year voting.  I think 15 wins and one of the bet #3 pitchers in the league bodes well for the franchise.

Steven Matz is still going to be eligible for the Rookie of the Year Award in 2016.  A dominant left handed pitcher is the perfect tonic for the club after throwing the top 3 chuckers 1st.

Bartolo Colon will hold down the fort until Zack Wheeler can come back from his Tommy John Surgery midway through the year.

Logan Verrett and Sean Gilmartin will likely start in the Bullpen to start the year however both of them could be stretched out to start if there injury trouble.  The latter has started 87 Games over his Minor League Career.  Verrett started 4 Games for the Mets last year.

Jeurys Familia returns to Close, Addison Reed, Rafael Montero and Blevins will all help set up him up.  Of course Verrett and Gilmartin are still in the mix.

Hansel Robles and Erik Goeddel may still contribute – and the club should also get Josh Edgin back from Tommy John Surgery at some point in the year.

The Mets would be wise to see if they can bring in another setup guy like Tyler Clippard did for them down the stretch.  New York could always wait till mid year to address this situation as well.

I firmly believe that New York should be the 2nd favorite in the National League right now behind the Cubs, and they definitely play in the easier Division – with the Marlins, Phillies and Braves all residing in the NL East.

With another roster move or 2 – I see New York challenging 100 wins, and taking in a second straight Division Title.  I am not sure the fans will just accept making the playoffs.

Much like the Royals won the 2015 Fall Classic after losing the 2014 World Series, the Mets will look to duplicate this exact feat in 2016.

It may be World Series or bust for the New York squad in 2016 - although that would fairly biased in a top heavy National League right now. I have the Mets winning the Division and being the 2 seed in the playoffs, however they must continue to upgrade for the October push of 2016.

It may be World Series or bust for the New York squad in 2016 – although that would fairly biased in a top heavy National League right now. I have the Mets winning the Division and being the 2 seed in the playoffs, however they must continue to upgrade for the October push of 2016.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

I am happy to be back at the helm of the MLB Reports, after completing my record 224 Games in the MLB Trip in 2015.  It was the 4th time I have seen all 30 MLB Parks since 2008. 

During that time away I was fortunate to do 100 Media Interviews and be named the Baseball Blogger Alliance President.

Interview on CSN Philly during the month of July.

Interview on CSN Philly during the month of July.

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Posted on December 25, 2015, in MLB Reports, MLB Teams State Of The Unions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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