Mets’ Top Ten Internal Decisions

GM Sandy Alderson was brought here clean out deadwood (Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, etc.) and trim payroll while the Wilpons tried to withstand the howling financial winds of the Ponzi Scandal.

BRUCE: First domino. (AP)

BRUCE: First domino. (AP)

It took several years, but the Mets are heading in the right direction – their Opening Day payroll was $135 million – but they can’t be accused of being spenders.

I see Alderson having to deal with ten players this winter:

OUTFIELD

Jay Bruce: Contractual control in 2017 was a key factor in making the trade in the first place. The want Bruce as a hedge for losing Cespedes, which means they must sign him first. The worst-case scenario is to screw around with Cespedes and delay with Bruce – which could cost them both. They must pick up Bruce’s $13 million option, and if Cespedes leaves, fine, so be it. Bruce is the lead domino.

Yoenis Cespedes: The ball is totally in the player’s court, which is not a good position for the Mets. Last year Cespedes dragged this out and there are no indications that won’t change this year. Early reports are Cespedes will want at least $100 million. Secretly, I’ll bet Alderson wants Cespedes to opt out and sign elsewhere.

INFIELD

Lucas Duda: He is arbitration eligible, but injury prone and coming off a back problem that is always scary. How much Duda will make is uncertain (he made $6.7 million this year and I’ve heard numbers as high $9 million). If not Duda, the Mets could go with a Loney-Flores platoon.

James Loney: I’m probably in the minority of those who wouldn’t mind seeing Loney return. However, they have other options, including seeing what Wright and Michael Conforto could do at first.

Neil Walker: Back surgery will reduce Walker’s bargaining power, so I don’t see people lining up to give him a two- or three-year deal. If they are set on Cespedes, they won’t go long term with both. With Wilmer Flores – assuming his wrist heals – and T.J. Rivera, it isn’t as if second base is a must. As they did with Daniel Murphy, they’ll probably extend a qualifying offer.

Jose Reyes: The Mets hold a team option on Reyes for 2017. The Mets got more than they expected from Reyes, and with David Wright’s return a question, there’s little doubt they won’t bring him back.

Kelly Johnson: They’ve already traded for him twice, and each time he produced. He’s versatile and produced as a pinch-hitter. This should be a no-brainer.

PITCHERS

Bartolo Colon: The biggest mistake Alderson could make is to assume all their surgically-repaired pitchers – there are four of them so far – will return healthy. The $7.25 million they paid for 15 victories was well spent. They need to bring him back.

Jerry Blevins: Stayed healthy, pitched well and wants to return. This shouldn’t be a problem. Not knowing what the Mets could get from Josh Smoker and Josh Edgin should help Blevins.

Jon Niese: Not happening.

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4 thoughts on “Mets’ Top Ten Internal Decisions

  1. John – how about addressing position by position; only SS the only position with a definite clear starter. OF if YC Leaves: (LF-MC) (CF- JL) (RF-CG/BN)

    TJ has shown he deserves strong consideration for 2b… if we let the NL’s mvp or runner up mvp leave b/c $12m a year was too outrageous, i am not sure we dole out an even higher annual salary of $17m to NW. i cant imagine the impact of getting an extra 45 rbi’s this year from 2b…. with DM on base as often as he would have been, every one else would have been getting more rbi opportunites, better pitches, etc… less pressure for everyone else to single handedly produce more with DM around.
    — still have several positions by committee: C, 2b, 3b, 1b;
    — absolute NO to YC in CF
    — can MC or JB play 1b?
    — bet we finally move a catching prospect if we get something for TD or KP
    .
    I guess we continue to live with:
    C: (TD/RR) or (RR/TD) if TD continues to struggle at the plate.
    1b: (JL/LD) or (LD/JL) if LD hits (some say JLu is allowed to leave – why not keep for insurance)
    2b (TJR, WF)
    SS – AC
    3b – (WF, JR or JR/WF)
    LF – YC (makes more sense to put him in RF, MC in LF, JB at 1b?)
    CF – JL
    RF – JB or MC?
    utility guys: Matt Reynolds, Ceccini, WF, KJ how does Nimmo fit in?? – 5th OF’r?
    OF if YC Leaves: (LF-MC) (CF- JL) (RF-CG/BN)

  2. Clearly, much will revolve around what Cespedes’ intentions are. Even still, so many question marks. The biggest is will Conforto get back on track and become the superstar we saw in 2015 and that many experts still predict is still very much on the horizon. What about Nimmo? Is he trade bait, just a solid 4th outfielder or can he be a big time talent? Is TJ Rivera a better option that Walker, Flores or Reyes? And first base – do you give Duda a chance coming off back surgery or do you ask Wright and Conforto to hold down the job with Loney as insurance? Then there’s d’Arnaud, Sandy has to move on and try to trade for an upgrade if possible. You gotta keep Bruce and Grandy stays for one more year. It will be a busy off season for Sandy and a crucial Spring for Terry as many will be auditioning for jobs and many others trying to show they are healthy enough to return to form.

    • I think they pick up Bruce’s option. I have no idea who he is. Is he the league leading hitter we traded for or the lost bat no glove player we saw in queens?

      They should try and keep yeonis. If we can pay him roughly the same again I would do it. He is too important for the lineup for us not to try.
      I want to see conforto succeed. Hopefully he can adjust to their adjustment of him. Sophomore jinx and all that. Last year for Grandy. He is a professional but I don’t think he was worth the 4 year contract. Nimmo – ultimately I think we are better of flipping him for something before he proves to be a journeyman. I may be wrong but don’t think he can be an impact player. Juan – I hope he can kick the injury bug.

      Walker when healthy is better than Wilmer, tj or Jose. But he got hurt. I think not picking up a second baseman gives Wilmer another opportunity to show he can produce. I am not sure if his bat ultimately is strong enough to make up for his weak glove. He made strides this year. Jose is nice because he is cheap and showed he can help us.

      I think Luke may price himself out. If the price is $10M for a player with a decent glove power potential , huge strikeouts, long stretches of nothing at the plate and injuries I think Loney/ Flores is better.

      I think we need to get a third baseman. I have no confidence David can return injury free and be the gold glove 3B he was.

      We need to try and upgrade catcher. Rivera was a nice surprise but our lineup is too weak to carry a catcher with no bat.

      We need to resign Bartolo. Keep Johnson too.

  3. ” They must pick up Bruce’s $13 million option, and if Cespedes leaves, fine, so be it. Bruce is the lead domino.”

    Madness. In 1783 PAs from 2014 through today Jay Bruce has been a replacement level player, worth all of 0.2 bWAR.

    Anyone who thinks an ML club should voluntarily put Jay Bruce on its roster has no business discussing baseball.