Dec 20

No Real News, But Plenty Of Issues For Mets

There’s no concrete breaking news on the Mets these days, but more than a few things are racing through my mind:

* Proving they have a sense of humor, the Mets included a $50,000 bonus in Bartolo Colon‘s contract if he wins the Silver Slugger Award for the best hitter at his position. It would be great to see Colon hit a homer or even draw a walk this year, something he’s never done during his 18-year career.

DUDA: Can he be the real deal? (AP)

DUDA: Can he be the real deal? (AP)

* One bat I’m concerned about is Lucas Duda. He’s extremely streaky and that’s something I don’t see changing.

* As well as he performed in the leadoff spot this summer, I still prefer Curtis Granderson hitting in run-producing spots in the middle of the order, especially if they don’t land an outfield bat. Then again, they really don’t have many other options in the leadoff spot. I’ll have to do some more thinking about this.

* David Wright’s back will continue to be an issue for the duration of his contract. He might eventually have to consider a position change. But to where?

* Some people think I don’t like Matt Harvey. Not true. What I don’t care for is his attitude and still think a trade might be something to seriously consider. They have numerous holes to fill and he could do it for them.

* This will be the season the Mets will likely choose between Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki. I don’t think they’ll keep both.

* I’m very curious as to see how Michael Conforto will produce in his first full year.

* The Mets’ starter I think will be the first to win 20 games is Jacob deGrom.

Of course, I’ll go into greater depth on all of these topics, but for now just think of this as an appetizer, or in the spirit of the season, just a stocking stuffer.

Cheers.

Dec 19

Clippard Likely Too Expensive For Mets

Personally, I’d like for the Mets to bring back set-up reliever Tyler Clippard, but not for two years for an estimated $15 million total package. Reports are he wants two years to come back to the Mets, who do have a bullpen need.

Clippard started hot, but cooled at the end and was replaced by Addison Reed for the set-up role to Jeurys Familia. He appeared in 32 games for the Mets and went 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.052 WHIP. His ERA ballooned to 6.75 in eight playoff games.

The Clippard we saw in August was top drawer and would be worth two years, but things spiraled downwards in September and October and that makes him quite risky. I’d give him one year and an option and if he doesn’t take it then I’d say good-bye.

 

 

Dec 18

Mets Still Have Voids To Fill

We are a week from Christmas and two months away from the start of spring training and the Mets still have two significant concerns to address:

CENTER FIELD: The Mets need a platoon with Juan Lagares, preferably a left-handed bat the equal of Yoenis Cespedes. That’s going to be tough. Making their quest even more difficult is the growing speculation they are going to do this on the cheap.

There does not seem to be sentiment to let Lagares open the season in a full time capacity, similar to what they did with Wilmer Flores.

Dexter Fowler and Denard Span are the names most frequently mentioned, however, they are lower tier options.

While neither are top drawer, they are at the point in their careers where they want the chance to play full time and won’t be anxious to enter into a platoon situation.

By the time the Mets get around talking with them, the market may be depleted, elevating them to the top of what is left – consequently probably making them too expensive to sign.

BULLPEN: Signing Bartolo Colon improves the bullpen, but you must remember that probably doesn’t happen until Zack Wheeler returns in July. Until then, things are thin. Jenrry Mejia was tendered for 2016. They are also bringing back Addison Reed and Jerry Blevins, and Tyler Clippard remains a possibility.

So, for now we really can’t say the Mets are significantly better than they were at the end of the season. And, please don’t underestimate how important this area is to the Mets. There is no return trip to the World Series, and maybe not even the playoffs without a better bullpen.

Dec 17

Bringing Back Colon No-Brainer For Mets

The Mets had a handful of decisions to make this off-season, and bringing back Bartolo Colon was no-brainer. Sure, he’s 42, but he also won 14 games, made 31 starts and pitched strong in the playoffs. He won’t make 30 starts in 2016, but even so it is worth it to give him $7.25 million for next year.

The money is worth it for a lot of reasons:

COLON: Worth it. (AP)

COLON: Worth it. (AP)

* He’ll be a reliable stop-gap as the fifth starter to replace Jon Niese until Zack Wheeler is brought up in late June or July. And, if for some reason Wheeler’s return is delayed Colon can always go back into the relation.

* Colon’s work in the bullpen in the playoffs proved valuable and gives the Mets a reliable option as a long reliever.

* Colon is an invaluable asset of information to the Mets’ young core of starters. Even Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard and even Matt Harvey can learn from him.

* And finally, if he does well until Wheeler comes back, he might be attractive to a contender at the trade deadline. You never know.

The $7.25 million the Mets will give him will be a bargain if he gives him a year they are hoping for.

 

Dec 16

Will Miss Murphy And Gee

Nobody knows where Daniel Murphy will land, but we know it won’t be with the Mets. I haven’t totally discounted him signing with the Yankees. I’m still thinking the Orioles and Angels are strong possibilities.

GEE: Will miss him and Murphy. (AP)

GEE: Will miss him and Murphy. (AP)

Wherever he goes, I will miss him. It was fun watching him during the playoffs and I hope his power display wasn’t a fluke. Murphy played his heart out for the Mets and he deserves his payday. I hope he gets it.

What I’ll remember most about Murphy is how he bounced from position to position before settling in a second base. He wasn’t the second coming of Roberto Alomar, but he worked hard into being a decent fielder. I’ll remember his long at-bats, often resulting in a drive in the gap. And, of course, there were his gaffs on the bases and in the field. One play I’ll always remember was him sliding into third. The third baseman kept his glove on Murphy in the hope he’d move off the bag, but Murphy grabbed the glove and moved it off him. Somehow, I found that funny.

My favorite Murphy moment was him going from first to third on a walk during the playoffs. A heads-up play from a guy whose attention has a tendency to wander.

From a reporter’s perspective, Murphy was great to work with as he didn’t duck any issue and always gave thoughtful answers.

Murphy is gone, but I’ll miss him and wish him well.

The same goes for Dillon Gee, who just signed a minor league deal with Kansas City.

As with Murphy, Gee isn’t physically gifted with those special skills. He wasn’t overpowering, but he was never afraid to take the ball. There were times when he was ripped, but he never offered any excuses. He was always stand up.

Gee had his moments of success despite being a 21-round draft pick. He is 40-37 with a 4.03 ERA lifetime. I thought he got a raw deal from the Mets last year, and with that I knew he was gone.

Both Murphy and Gee played hard and played with heart. I’ll miss them.