Nov 16

Syndergaard Fourth In Rookie Voting

Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting today behind Chicago’s Kris Bryant (unanimous winner), Matt Duffy and Jung Ho Kang. The only Mets who realistically have a chance at winning postseason awards are Terry Collins (manager) and Sandy Alderson (executive).

ESPN, citing the Pace Law School in White Plains as its source, projects Matt Harvey to make $4.4 million in arbitration this winter, Other arbitration-eligible Mets are Lucas Duda, Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed.

 

Nov 14

Ricco: Mets To Outline Offseason

We’re two weeks removed from the World Series and the Mets already took care of two orders of business: 1) they signed manager Terry Collins to a two-year extension, and 2) made a $15.8-million qualifying offer to Daniel Murphy, which he rejected Friday afternoon.

With Sandy Alderson unable to attend the GM Meetings because of a medical procedure, assistant GM John Ricco said the Mets achieved what they set out to do this week.

“Obviously with Sandy not being here, the goal was to make sure we touched base with various clubs and agents that we thought might fit what we’re looking for,” Ricco said at the conclusion of the meetings. “I think we clearly were able to do that, between J.P. [Ricciardi], Paul [DePodesta] and I. We had a lot of different meetings. We were able to get a pretty clear idea on some clubs – on some other clubs, not so clear – what they’re looking to do.

“And also we met with agents for the key [free-agent] players we think might be fits. So we head back. We’ll regroup with Sandy back in New York and further define the plan for the offseason.”

Ricco said the Mets are exploring free-agent Ben Zobrist; inquired into the availability of Atlanta shortstop¬†Andrelton Simmons before the Braves traded him to the Angels; and reiterated the team will not trade any of their core pitchers. Ricco also indicated the Mets do not want to trade catchers Travis d’Arnaud or Kevin Plawecki and said they are satisfied with another year with Curtis Granderson as the leadoff hitter.

Ricco and the other assistant general managers are expected to meet with Alderson at the beginning of next week to outline their offseason priorities.

Nov 13

Murphy Rejects Mets; Both Sides Win

As expected, Daniel Murphy rejected the Mets’ $15.8-million qualifying offer this afternoon, a decision that makes a winner out of both sides.

Here’s how the Mets are winners:

MURPHY: Now an ex-Met. (AP)

MURPHY: Now an ex-Met. (AP)

1) They will receive a compensatory draft pick, which is what they really wanted in the first place.

2) With Murphy gone, the Mets are able to pursue free-agent Ben Zobrist, who is a better player, and if unable to sign him, are free to move Wilmer Flores from shortstop to second base, where he’s stronger defensively. The Mets can also explore playing Dilson Herrera at second base if they prefer.

3) With no financial obligations to Murphy, the Mets have $15.8 million free to spend elsewhere.

4) Whatever retooling plans the Mets have, they can move on to them quickly.

Here’s how Murphy is a winner:

1) The Mets can still sign Murphy if they choose, but aren’t expected to make the effort. Doesn’t that really mean they didn’t want him in the first place?

2) Coming off a stellar postseason, Murphy is in the prime earning years of his career. Had he accepted the qualifying offer, he would have delayed free agency by one year, and taken a huge gamble that likely wouldn’t have been rewarded with a multi-year contract. He’ll likely be offered a contract the Mets wouldn’t come close to making.

3) Much has been made of Murphy’s defensive limitations, but now he’s free to sign with an American League team and be a designated hitter.

4) The Mets yanked Murphy around for years at a variety of positions and numerous times attempted to trade him. Now, he’ll be able to sign with a team that really wants him.

Where will Murphy go? The Dodgers and Yankees are two teams prominently mentioned, but Houston and the Angels are other possible suitors.

Nov 13

Murphy Decision Due Today

We should know a great deal about the make-up of the 2016 Mets in a few hours when second baseman Daniel Murphy makes his decision on whether to accept a $15.8-million qualifying offer. His decision is expected to be NO.

The Mets made the qualifying offer to assure a compensatory draft pick.

MURPHY:  Sliding away from Mets? (AP)

MURPHY: Sliding away from Mets? (AP)

“That’s obviously a big factor – whether he’s back or not – because financially and roster-wise he’s a big party of who we were and what we need moving forward,” assistant GM John Ricco said at the conclusion of the GM meetings in Florida. “We have to see what happens there. That will guide us in the short term, at least, in one direction or another.”

Should Murphy reject the Mets, they could make a run a Kanas City’s Ben Zobrist. They’ve already in touch with his agent. Should Murphy leave it would also smooth the transition of Wilmer Flores from shortstop to second base.

If Murphy becomes a free agent, the Yankees – regardless of their GM Brian Cashman’s denials – Houston and both Los Angeles teams are thought of as the prime candidates to land him.

If Murphy stays, it will might complicate things for the Mets after next season, especially if his power surge during the playoffs proves not to be a fluke, in particular, would they be willing to give him the four-year deal he’s reportedly seeking?

 

Nov 12

Mets Can’t Ignore Prospect Of Trading Harvey Now

The Miami Marlins told agent Scott Boras to take a hike and told him he won’t be part of any discussions as to innings limits on pitcher Jose Fernandez, and as much as the Mets might want to do the same regarding Matt Harvey, it won’t happen.

HARVEY: Is his future with Mets? (AP)

HARVEY: Is his future with Mets? (AP)

Boras was complimentary of the Mets’ handling of Harvey’ innings during the GM Meeting and Harvey said, “I will be with him my entire career,” which means they should at least try to get along until after he becomes a free agent after the 2018 season.

I’m guessing it won’t happen and Harvey’s proclamation will likely outlast the Mets’ vow of not trading from their core four rotation. With Zack Wheeler due back next July; the Mets in need of a bat in the wake of the likely departures of Yoenis Cespedes and Daniel Murphy; Boras’ reputation of not negotiating before free agency, testing the market and going after every last dollar; and the Mets’ reputation of being frugal and having Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Wheeler to eventually consider long-term, it makes sense to think about dealing Harvey.

We can conjecture all we want about Harvey’s childhood affection for the Yankees and his grown-up obsession about New York’s night life, but the odds favor him moving on over staying with the Mets his entire career. And, let’s not forget Harvey’s high-maintenance diva ways and that he’s healthy following Tommy John surgery.

There is no better time to do this than now.

The Mets would be naive not to consider all these variables, plus arguably the most important thing of all: They are better off getting something for Harvey now before losing him and not getting anything in return.

And, because Harvey has a manageable contract, the time couldn’t be better to move him for a high rate of return.

Today’s hot rumor has Harvey going to the Red Sox. The return is Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley or Xander Bogaerts, individually or in a combination. Any of them would improve the Mets, and even without Harvey, the Mets have enough pitching to keep all this going.

They would foolish not to consider all this.