Tebow through Wednesday was 3 for 28 with 2 walks in the AFL...who could be that bad, huh?  Uhh...well-seasoned, competent Mets AA 1B Matt Oberste had been up 19 times, made out 19 times.  It happens.  Get 'em next time.

Others may choose to lack impulse control and dump on Tebow's AFL efforts, but I still refuse to over-judge Tebow in limited results against steep competition with no career ramp-up, and prefer to see what he does next season, most likely opening up with Columbia or even St Lucie.   Why not?

He has a resume as a tremendously driven guy who has achieved real success despite limited QB skills in the pressure cooker called the NFL. 

None of the Mets' lower minor guys has experienced ANY real pressure, by comparison.  Not even close.

Besides, it is not like we have a million great OF prospects  in the lower minors.  Just as a for-instance, Brooklyn the past 2 years had very close to the lowest team batting average in league history.  He's probably as good or better than all of them from those 2 years.  And he has power, a truly scarce commodity in the lower minors.

So let me elaborate, and let's run down his Mets' minors OF competitors vs. Tebow, with an objective eye's view:

Desmond Lindsay did great (.297/.418/.450).  There's one Tebow competitor for ya.  

But the other primary Cyclones OF's (Gene Cone, Arnaldo Berrios, Jay Jabs, Henglebert Rojas, and Jacob Zanon) combined for 779 at bats with 153 hits, collectively under .200, with Cone leading the pack at a meager .227.  Was it because they were swinging madly for the fences?  No, they combined for just 3 dingers.  Pretty awful.  

A few pretty good ones - Ricardo Cespedes was .322/.356/.379 - he is clearly headed for Brooklyn or even a step up to Columbia, but Ricky does not turn 20 until late August.  I say challenge him in Columbia.  Jose Miguel Medina, 20, lined up well at .286/.358/.394.  But then off the cliff...Ian Strom hit in the .220"s and Will Baring got released, so I see 2 possible competitors for Tebow in Cespedes and Medina, but both are likely too green in 2017 to make him lose ABs.

No outfielders impressed at all so, simply put, no competitors for Tebow in that low-rookie ball squad.

In summary, only one real competitor (Desmond Lindsay) for Tebow for a Columbia or higher starting OF spot in 2017 ...and that assumes Tebow starts out in Columbia, which I doubt he will.

So now, let's look at Columbia and St Lucie's OF's - how is the competition there?

Four did well enough to be jumped up to AA ball in 2017 (averages in St Lucie are reflected): Kevin Kaczmarski (.301), Wuilmer Becerra (.312), Pat Biondi (.271), and Champ Stuart (.265).  But the 4 only combined for 7 homers in 1,015 at bats, a major red alert (they did, however, steal 66 of 79 there, so they are quick to the after-game food spread).  

Champ actually also got 184 at bats in AA, but the speedster's .201 average there, and huge strikeout rate, makes him highly questionable ceiling-wise, but likely he'll start out in AA, as I expect will the other 3.  Kaczmarski (who started the season slowly in Columbia in April before hitting .300 the rest of his time there until his St Lucie promotion) seems clearly to be the best contact hitter in the group, seems to have a lot of Nimmo in him, and conceivably could skip AA and go straight to AAA.

Vinnie Lupo, Enmanuel Zabala, Ivan Wilson, Joe Tuschak - only EZ Rider did good there - .280/.330/.339 with a homer in 50 games.   So...one good 4th OF(?) for St Lucie next year.  Won't reduce Tebow's elbow room at getting in the line up.

Getting redundant...no good ones - maybe Jayce Boyd, but my guess is he heads to AAA to play 1B or OF. He's not been the same hitter since his major injury a few years back, and is lacking in HR power and foot speed.

OK, I covered every level below AAA.  Heck with this collectively anemic hitting, powerless group of outfielders, powerful Tim Tebow could almost start in AAA, but that would likely be too drastic and steep an incline.  But unless Timmy T decides to calls it quits in the weeks ahead, there is absolutely no reason (given the competition, or lack thereof) that he can't be a starting OF in Columbia or St Lucie in the spring.  

My guess?  They try the sink or swim approach with the 29 year old and start him out in St. Lucie, hoping he can quickly get to Binghamton and Vegas next year on merit.

Go, Tebow, go.  I for one am pulling for you.


Eddie Mendieta - The Human Element


The Human Element by Eddie Mendieta

(Here lies the inaugural Mack's Mets article for Eddie Mendieta - 
read and enjoy, folks).

So Tuesday night’s World Series game had Cleveland’s Starter Corey Kluber Strike out 8 batters in the first 3 innings and 9 total for the game. A masterful performance, or was it...
On Mike and Mike’s morning show it was reported that the Umpire’s strike zone was 93% accurate. As I watched the game, I noticed that there were many pitches I did not agree were strikes, up to 2-3 inches off the plate. Then questions arose, and they said “it’s the Human Element.” 
Now I do like the “Human Element”.   I enjoy when a player slides on the perfect side of the bag to avoid what should be an easy out. 

I love when a base runner on third base runs down the line and draws a balk from the pitcher. 

However, when a call is wrong or in this case a ball is called a strike, we catalog it under the umbrella of “The Human Element”. This makes no sense. 
Both the batter and the pitcher should know what is going to be called a ball or  strike every game, every time. We all see on TV when the Umpire is wrong. Now we even have statistics that can say how accurate the “Human Umpire” was. 

Well, 93% is far too low a percentage. In the post season, those 7% may actually have been the difference in why Cleveland was victorious. 

One hundred percent may not be possible but having the number raised to 98%-99% should be. 
Now that works both ways, for every ball called a strike there is a strike called a ball. I am willing the bet Syndergaard, Harvey, and Degrom throw extra pitches (raising pitch counts) on missed calls and would prefer to know that if they execute the same pitch in the first or the sixth inning they would receive the same results.  

The technology exists.  

As fans we invest our money, time and passion, and I expect the same on the field.

What do you think, folks?

Cespedes will opt out, but Mets remain in picture


Mack – Stuff – Mack’s Mets Writers, Drew Smyly, International Draft, Tim Tebow, 1st Base


Good morning.

We are trying to build a new staff of writers here for the ‘2017 season’ and I’m thrilled to announce that four of our longtime readers and comment makers, Eddie Corona, Will Kay, Eddie Mendietaand Richard Jones, have joined Thomas Brennen, Reese Kaplan, and myself as active writers.

I have returned for a few posts a month and we’re not going to hold either Eddie, Will, Eddie-2 or Richard’s feet to the fire regarding how much they write. They’ll get started when they get started.

The Mets are reported to be working on a trade to ship catcher Travis d’Arnaud and LF Michael Conforto to Tampa Bay for services of pitcher Drew Smyly. Smyly was paid $3.75mil last season in his 2nd arbitration year and iit would probably take the Rays $6mil+ to lock him up in 2016. This is a team that had a combined 2016 team salary of less than $71mil ($9mil of which went to James Loney). Conforto and d’Arnaud would be far more in line with their bottom line. The 27-year old Smyly had 30-starts last season, and went 7-12, 4..88, 167-K, 175.1-IP. Having the Mets trade for another starter doesn’t seem to make much sense, but let’s remember that this guy had 63 relief appearances in 2013 where he went 6-0, 2.37, 1.04, 76-IP, 81-K.

Both the players in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela scheduled for the 2017 International baseball draft are in the planning stage of boycotting any association with major league baseball if they decide to the can the current ‘non’ draft where players as young as 16 can sign with any team they want. Details of the new collective bargaining agreement regarding the international market would be:

“Under the terms of MLB's initial concept, the new international draft system would start in March of 2018, with a 10-round draft held over two days. As the new structure evolved, with terms grandfathered into the process, the minimum age for draft-eligible players would be 18 years old by 2021.

As part of baseball's proposal, MLB would operate facilities in the Dominican Republic, where international draft prospects would be invited to live to develop their skills and education before becoming eligible. This would also give MLB much greater control over a process which has often been viewed by baseball executives as a wild, wild West of player procurement.”

The Dominican kids started this out yesterday, boycotting the Showcase event that was scheduling.

Trust me, big business always wins in things like this.

How this would affect the Mets is hard to determine since they have spent very little time and money investing in quality talent (especially pitching) in this market.

I saw that Tim Tebow was a guest on FOX News. What the hell is that all about? I know he has an arrangement to do some TV work in college baseball, but FOX News? You’re kidding me.

Do you think Sandy and Company would make this exception for some other minor league A+ player?

From Fangraphs - The pathetic state of Mets first basemen - 

       2016 End of Season Fantasy First Base Rankings
1Paul Goldschmidt1587052410695320.297$28.70
2Joey Votto158677291019780.326$26.40
3Miguel Cabrera158679389210800.316$26.40
4Edwin Encarnacion160702429912720.263$25.10
5Freddie Freeman158693341029160.302$24.00
6Wil Myers157676289994280.259$22.50
7Anthony Rizzo155676329410930.292$22.40
8Hanley Ramirez147620308111190.286$21.00
9Mike Napoli150645349210150.239$15.50
10Carlos Santana15868834898750.259$15.40
11Eric Hosmer158667258010450.266$14.40
12Jose Abreu159695256710000.293$14.20
13Chris Carter16064441849430.222$12.90
14Chris Davis15766538998410.221$11.80
15Adrian Gonzalez15663318699000.285$9.40
16Brad Miller15260130738160.243$8.20
17Brandon Belt15665517778200.275$7.80
18Matt Carpenter12956621816800.271$7.20
19Brandon Moss12846428666710.225$3.10
20C.J. Cron11644516516920.278$2.40
21Travis Shaw14553016637150.242$1.00
22Mark Reynolds11844114615310.282$1.00
23Sean Rodriguez14034218495620.27-$0.70
24David Freese14149213635500.27-$0.70
25Marwin Gonzalez141518135551120.254-$1.20
26Joe Mauer13457611684920.261-$1.40
27Tommy Joseph10734721474710.257-$1.70
28Mitch Moreland14750322496010.233-$2.30
29Adam Lind12643020485800.239-$2.50
30Justin Bour9032115355100.264-$4.60
31Matt Adams11832716375400.249-$4.60
32Wilmer Flores10333516384910.267-$4.60
33Yonder Alonso1565327525630.253-$5.20
34Ryan Zimmerman11546715604640.218-$5.20
35Ryan Howard11236225355900.196-$5.40
36Logan Morrison10739814454340.238-$5.70
37Jefry Marte8828415384420.252-$5.90
38Steve Pearce8530213353500.288-$6.20
39Dae-Ho Lee10431714334900.253-$6.30
40John Jaso1324328454200.268-$6.60
41Ryan Rua992698402290.258-$8.10
42Mark Teixeira11643815434420.204-$9.30
43James Loney1003669303400.265-$10.00
44Billy Butler972745273500.284-$10.40
45Justin Smoak12634114333410.217-$10.70
46Kennys Vargas4717710272000.23-$13.00
47Byung-ho Park6224412282410.191-$13.80
48Tyler White862768242810.217-$14.40
49Andres Blanco902094262120.253-$14.70
50Lucas Duda471727202300.229-$14.70
51Josh Bell451523181900.273-$15.40
52Clint Robinson1042255162600.234-$15.70
53Rob Refsnyder581750251220.25-$16.50
54Miguel Rojas1232141271420.247-$16.80
55Chris Johnson1132645202400.222-$17.00
56Tyler Austin3190571210.241-$17.80
57Brett Wallace1192566192000.189-$18.80
58Brandon Snyder374748900.239-$18.90
59Ji-Man Choi54129591220.17-$19.20
60Rob Segedin4083291200.233-$19.30
61Chris Parmelee6824400.5-$19.60
62Darin Ruf438938900.205-$19.70
63Ben Paulsen3997181100.217-$19.90
64Stephen Cardullo275925600.214-$20.40
65Richie Shaffer205415400.25-$20.50
66Eric Campbell408819910.173-$20.80


Reese Kaplan -- What Mets Do Other GMs Want?


One of the axioms in the baseball business is that you have to give to get.  A lot of people are advocating various trade scenarios in which the Mets dump overpaid, underperforming players in order to improve the ballclub.  While everyone would like to see that happen, the fact is that the other GMs are trying to do exactly the same thing.

If you’re serious about trying to upgrade the bullpen or the offense then you have to be prepared to give talent in return.  The risk is that when you do the person leaving will seriously outperform the one you received.  Those kinds of deals become the fodder of blogs and add to the folklore of the ones that got away.  Remember Joe Foy for Amos Otis?  Ugh!

It’s no wonder that many clubs eschew trades, preferring instead to address needs through free agency.  In those cases, it’s merely money that lures someone to your club while you preserve your trading chips for the next deal which may present itself to you.  However, even the free agent game has become controlled by the compensatory draft picks awarded to the clubs who issue qualifying offers to their departing talent.  What that means is not only will you have to pony up the big bucks but also sacrifice a draft pick to help build for the future.

What that means for armchair GMs is the way the free agent game is now played.  It’s no longer a case of trying to get solid major league talent via free agency.  Now it’s looking for the cream of the crop who are worth the sacrifice of the draft pick or it’s scrap heap picking with lower level talent who have QO offered and hence no compensation.

What then?  What else is a GM to do?  Well, there’s always the non-tender market.  This avenue has seemingly grown explosively in the past several years.  Players reach a certain stage of compensation from arbiters where a club must think long and hard about whether or not retaining their home grown talent is worth the ever more costly investment.

The corresponding issue is team control of the player’s compensation.  Nowadays the guys who have about three years of team control before arbitration and free agency are in VERY high demand.  If they’ve shown a modicum of success at the major league level then they become crown jewels for other cash-strapped clubs to covet.

So, given these parameters, who are the players that would be most desired by other teams?  Well, let’s take a look:

  • Robert Gsellman – While he hasn’t got the raw power of some of his fellow pitchers, the 23 year old demonstrated both at the minor league level and major league level that he’s got the ability to get hitters out.  In latter season trial he delivered a 4-2 record, a 2.42 ERA and struck out 8.5 batters per nine innings while walking 3.  That kind of performance is going to make him highly desirable to other clubs.  Throw in the years of control and minimum wage paycheck and he’s the best they have to offer right now, even more so than stud minor leaguers like Amed Rosario and Dom Smith who have yet to advanced to AAA, let alone the majors.  

  • Seth Lugo – His 26 year old age works against him and his minor league numbers were not as gaudy as Gsellman’s, but his control is the same and by most people’s opinion he’s not quite as talented.  As such, he wouldn’t generate quite as much interest, but 5-2, 2.67 and a tiny WHIP of a hair over 1.000 is going to make some GMs drool.  What was somewhat surprising was the paucity of strikeouts.  In the minors he fanned as many as 11 per nine innings, but in the majors this year he delivered a pedestrian 6.3.    

  • Michael Conforto – Given his forgettable 2016 major league performance, his star is somewhat tarnished.  However, his first turn at the majors in 2015 and his otherworldly numbers in AAA may keep him in the upper eschelon of desirable, cost-controlled resources.  If the Mets do somehow wind up fielding the same outfield that finished 2016 – Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce – then he might be more valuable as a starter to another ballclub.  

  • Josh Smoker – While experiencing trial-by-fire at the major league level, Josh Smoker was an enigma who fanned an incredible 14.7 batters per 9 IP.  Unlike his lefty clone before him, Jack Leathersich, he actually showed good control, walking just 2.3 batters per 9 IP.  His problem was being hittable when they weren’t swinging and missing. A live arm like that will certainly interest other teams.  

  • Hansel Robles – Another high strikeout pitcher, Robles has turned in two solid seasons in middle relief.  His ERA improved this year, but his peripheral numbers declined.  Still, hard throwers will always generate some interest and he is still under team control.  

  • TJ Rivera – Although the Mets were seemingly hellbent on burying him forever in the minors, out of desperation they gave him a late season trial and he did what he’s done at every level of ball he’s played – he hit.  He’s a bit long in the tooth to be considered a prospect but he’s a piece that would certainly draw interest from other clubs.  

Brandon Nimmo, Ty Kelly, Kevin Plawecki and Gabriel Ynoa didn’t show enough yet at the major league level that they would be anything more than fillers in trades.

Now there are some low cost players who have some team control left like Wilmer Flores who will likely draw interest after the two solid half-seasons of run production.  Depending on whether or not the team has plans for him to be a starter or a sub, he may indeed prove to be a valuable chip.

I’m assuming the starting rotation is off limits, not due to money but because it would be a classic case of selling low until they prove they are healthy.  Furthermore, the club needs them to win.

Of this group, I can see Lugo or Gsellman going in a major trade during the off-season (but not both).






I often think of how Jenrry Mejia foolishly killed not just his career (and millions of dollars), but sabotaged the Mets, too, this season, due to his lifetime ban brought on in self-inflicted fashion by repeated failed drug tests. 

How would the bullpen have looked it we were using a clean, healthy Mejia in 2016 rather than guys like Goeddell and Verrett?  Better, for sure.

Jenrry Mejia still lives - and remarkably, still pitches.  Whether he will ever see the light of day in major league baseball again is another story.

I saw the following from the excellently informative Adam Rubin - Rubin wrote:

"RHP Jenrry Mejia is still a member of the Mets organization, notes Adam Rubin of ESPNThe Mets can release him if they choose but he's currently costing the team nothing.  Mejia, who was suspended from Major League Baseball for life last season due to a third positive PED test, recently began pitching in the Dominican Winter League" (with a scoreless inning - my added note). 

"He could potentially be reinstated from his lifetime ban after the 2017 season."

What a tragedy - but with a slim (?) chance at future redemption.  A future Met? He's still a member of the Mets!!!!  But a future as a Met?  Highly doubtful - "fool me thrice, shame on me."

Right now, though, he "did the crime, so he's doing the time."  Where will Jenrry's saga end?  Hopefully not at the local pharmacy.  Perhaps in a beer league in a few years with Bartolo Colon, should he ever retire.

Instead of Jenrry, I'd rather focus on Paul Sewald, pitching in the Mexican league this off season and already with with 6 innings of 1 run ball, and 0-1 but with 4 saves. 

Hopefully, Highly Reliable Paul will have an established MLB career before Mejia ever dons a big league uniform again.

P.S. Here is a picture of a character who looked like Jenrry, pose-wise, after one of his Mets' saves, and probably what he felt like while on the PEDS - just having a little fun, folks...



Richard Jones - Should the Mets use a permanent six man rotation in 2017?


This is my first post for Mack's Mets. A little about who I am. I grew up on Long Island NY as a died hard Mets fan. I joined the Air Force out of High School. I am now a displaced Mets fan. I live near Dallas Texas where I am a High School math and history teacher. I mostly teach math, Algebra II and Geometry. Some of my students who had me for both suggest that I never attempt to teach English. This indicates that I can't promise there wont be spelling and grammatical mistakes in my post. I will do a better job than I usually do at proof reading but still no promises. Now lets get to it.

The idea of a permanent six man rotation. In reality most teams are already using a six man rotation. It's just that one of the six is being rotated to the DL because of Tommy John surgery. Over the last five or six years there has been an average of 30 Tommy John surgeries performed on MLB pitchers per year. Starters end up under the knife more frequently than relievers. It takes 12 to 18 months to recover and generally two seasons to get back to normal. Bradley Woodrum of mlbtraderumors supplied stats that showed the better a pitcher performed the more likely he was to end up under the knife. The lower a pitcher's earned run average the more likely he is to end up under the knife. He suggest this is because better pitchers are asked to pitch more often. I think it's because better pitchers have better stuff and better stuff requires more of the arm. There's also a connection based on how hard pitchers throw. All of that means that at any given time there are about 36 starters somewhere in the process of recovering from Tommy John surgery and that they are above average starters as a whole.

If there was ever a team that was going to commit to a 6 man rotation it would be the Mets. Before we get into that lets look at some of the objections to a six man rotation.

1. A team's ace, who is likely getting paid a large sum of money, will lose 6 to 7 starts. You want him to pitch as much as possible. The 6 or 7 starts he loses will be picked up by someone with far less talent. That will likely result in more losses.

2. Pitchers will not be as sharp on 5 days rest as they would be on 4 days rest.

3. You lose a roster spot somewhere else or the starters have to go deeper into games which could increase their risk for Tommy John surgery.

So why would a six man rotation work for the Mets?

With the exception of Colon each pitcher in their rotation profiles at higher risk for Tommy John Surgery (including second Tommy John Surgery) than the average MLB pitcher. They throw harder and they have earned run averages below average. Both those factors contribute to a higher rate of Tommy John surgeries needed. The Mets are one of the few teams that have the depth to pull off a six man rotation. The Mets should have high expectations of playing in the post season. In both their last two trips to the post season their starters were far from 100%.

If the Mets come out of spring training in tact they could put forth a six man rotation of Syndergaard, deGrom, Harvey, Matz, Wheeler, and Gsellman. Lugo and Colon ready to jump in if one of them is not ready. So back to objection number 1. The Mets would be giving 6 or 7 of Syndergaard's and deGrom's starts to Gsellman. Gsellman helped the Mets get to the post season this year. I trust him and I think he earned the opportunity to help us get there in 2017. That increases the chances of having Syndergaard and deGrom at 100% when you need them most. Having Gsellman, Lugo, or Colon as your number six minimizes objection number  1.

Objection 2 is that pitchers will not be sharp on 5 days rest. I currently live near Arlington TX, home of the Texas Rangers. Even before Yu Darvish went under the knife he was advocating for a six man rotation. It was what he was used to and he performed well under those conditions. Japan and Korea are both using 6 man rotations. There are a lot of arm issues in Japan but not Tommy John type injuries. Most of the issues are attributed to the insane use of pitchers as amateurs. The lack of Tommy John surgeries needed suggest the 6 man rotation is working. Japan does have a 28 man roster. The manager does have to declare 3 players ineligible before each game. Pitchers in Japan and Korea don't have issues being sharp with 5 days of rest. They adjusted to that and Met pitchers can adjust to that.

Issue number 3 seems to be the biggest issue. MLB has to increase the rosters to at least 26 or 27 and allow teams to declare a player or 2 ineligible like Japan does. Until MLB does that they would have to build bullpen depth in their minors in rotate players through AAA for the bullpen.
Pitchers are getting bigger and stronger. However ligaments and tendons aren't keeping up with muscle and bone mass. So far MLB has not adjusted. They keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. Albert Einstein spoke to this "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Paying players to rehab is more expensive than paying them to pay. I only mentioned pitchers missing time recovering from Tommy John surgery. It would also minimize other injuries  such as bone spurs and shoulder injuries. 

The Mets are the team most likely to benefit from a six man rotation and the team in the best situation to implement it.

The show about nothing had quite a strong foundation in baseball.  Read here:

Seinfeld's Baseball Roots

Mack’s Morning Report – Off Season, Part Two – Infield


Good morning.

My infield has 8 ball players.

2 catchers, 4 starting infielders, and 2 utility players that can play multiple infield positions.

I can fill a few of these in quickly –

-         SS Astrubel Cabrera -I don’t think there is a Mets fan on this planet that isn’t happy with this guy and what he did this past season. He’s worth every penny of the $8.25mil he will be paid in 2017 and, if he repeats in 2017 what he did in 2016, I’ll gladly pick up his option.

Frankly, I next have to move to a couple of veterans that are both under contract and just not reasonable trade bait anymore because of the money and/or length of what’s left of their contract –

-         3B David Wright – Look, I have to respect both the amount of years and dollars committed over the length of Wright’s contract. I greatly question whether or not he will ever play at 100% again. I then will light a candle and hope he can produce like he has done in the past. And lastly, if everything goes south, I hope that David (I can call him by his first name because I know him) would have the decency to work out an exit package both he and the team could benefit from.

-         UT Jose Reyes – I’m thrilled to see that the Mets have picked up the option on this guy. I’m basically putting off any youth movement for my 2017 infield and paying Jose (I can call him by his first name because I know him) the approximate $600K minimum makes much sense when you also have so much invested in Wright ($20mil in 2017). I have him as the backup for Wright on third, Cabrera on short, an occasional gave at second, and late inning pinch hitting. You can’t find a more talented player in the league at this cost for this role.

-         1B Wilmer Flores – Frankly, I’m done with Lucas Duda and I would not pay him the projected $6.7mil it would take for him to return. I know we are still one year away from the Dominic Smith Experiment (spoiler alert: two years away from the Peter Alonso Project) so I’m going to try and limp through this season with a full time Flores and a part time returnee that I hope will sign up.

-         C-Reserve Rene Rivera -   Many of you know that I want two basic things from my backup catcher. First, I want his to catch a great defensive game which includes the ability to throw out runners on a consistent basic trying to steal second base. Secondly, I want my pitching staff to be happy when this guy is chosen to catch them as well as be encouraged by this catcher when my pitchers are getting things done right. Do these things and hit. 200 and I’m thrilled, but do these things and hit .222 and you’re the guy for me. He’ll cost around $2mil which is a steal.

And then there are the new guys that I would do what it takes to add to my roster -

-         C – Wilson Ramos – yeah, I know there’s a health problem (ACL and meniscus tear in right knee… second tear), but he’ll be back and, since he only cost $5.35mil last year for the Nats, I probably could easily (especially after the injury) get this guy in the $10-mil range for 2017. He hit 22 HRs/80 RBIs last year in 482 at bats and will play 2017 as a 29 year old. He easily could not be ready for the beginning of the season and his rehab literally could last until the all-star break, but I’ll still sign him through 2018. Big risk (two rebuilt knee operations for a catcher) but big rewards to. I’ll fill in with Travis d’Arnaud until the transition and then deal off ‘ d’ in some future trade. This is basically my wild card move this upcoming season.

-         2B – ??? – Yeah, this is where you come in. Do you send a QO to bad backed Neil Walker? Or do you promote rookies Gavin Cecchini or T.J. Murphy? I’m not going to allow you to use Flores here because I am going to play him at first for one year with the next guy as his back-up. Your call here.

-         UT – Kelly Johnson – I didn’t want this guy to go away the first time and I sure as hell don’t want to lose him again. Johnson knows his role. He can play at least three infield positions and there isn’t a better clutch late inning pinch hitter in the league. He also was only paid $2mil last season. I would easily double his salary to get him back.


Reese Kaplan -- WAY Outside The Box Thinking


Back when the Mets executed the trade that rescued Mike Piazza from his banishment to south Florida people were ecstatic to have someone of his offensive prowess available to help the club win.  However, that adulation quickly turned negative because he was not particularly adept at throwing baserunners out trying to steal. 

I don’t know…if I get a guy who hits well enough to make the Hall of Fame, I was willing to overlook his defensive shortcomings.  The Mets even dabbled with trying him at 1st base to relieve the strain of catching every day and to bring in a backstop with a better arm.  That experiment was about as successful as was the Todd Hundley to the outfield decision. 

Anyway, fast forward several years and there was a promising young catcher who racked up multiple 20 HR seasons for the Colorado Rockies before the age of 25.  His name is Wilin Rosario.  While no one is suggesting Rosario will ever be mistaken for Mike Piazza, the fact remains he was an offense-first catcher who was pushed off the position and had to endure the constant catcalls about his defensive game. 

His career in Colorado came to a rather quick end and by age 26 he was cut loose by the Rockies who didn’t think what the arbiters wanted to pay him was good value.  He wound up signing with a Korean team and in his 2016 season there all he did was hit .321 with 33 HRs and 120 RBIs.  Granted, Korean baseball is not the major leagues but as many transplanted players have shown us it’s probably somewhere between AAA and the majors in terms of relative talent. 

So here’s a WAY outside-the-box idea to consider…should the Mets inquire about bringing Rosario back to the majors?  He earned just $1.3 million last year in Korea.  He can play catcher or 1st base.  He’s a right handed hitter who could help balance out a lefty-heavy lineup.  He could also be an insurance policy should Travis d’Arnaud once again falter or make his annual trip to the DL.  He could form part of a lefty/righty platoon at 1st base with Lucas Duda (or Jay Bruce or even Michael Conforto).  He could also provide right handed power off the bench which the Mets currently don’t have unless Wilmer Flores returns to that role. 
I think for less than you’ll likely pay bench pieces like Alejandro De Aza or Kelly Johnson or even Justin Ruggiano, it’s an option worth considering.  
Mack's Mets © 2012