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.

Nov 11

Mets Interested In Bringing Back Colon

The Mets are interested in bringing back 42-year-old Bartolo Colon and reportedly the feeling is mutual. It would be great to have Colon back for another year, and not just for the entertainment value.

Colon was 14-13 with a 4.16 ERA, but more importantly, worked 194.2 innings. He tied for the club lead in victories and for the second straight year was the leader in innings pitched.

He also proved to be a rock as a reliever in the postseason. That versatility is what makes him attractive to the Mets for a third season.

With Zack Wheeler not expected back until July, either Colon or Jon Niese can be the fifth starter, and with their bullpen thin in the middle innings he could be valuable in that role, also.

“He is interested in coming back, but he’s going to go out on the market and look and see,’’ assistant GM John Ricco told ESPN at the GM Meetings. “It’s very early, and we really just talked about how happy we were with what he did for us.’’

What Colon did out of the pen was one of the more interesting storylines of the postseason. Over 8.2 innings in seven appearances, Colon struck out seven and gave up two hits.

“He proved in the postseason that he can pitch out of the pen,’’ GM Sandy Alderson said after the playoffs. “Whether he would do that on a full-time basis, or be a swing man/middle guy, or even step into the rotation in the event of injuries, I think we’re still open-minded about the possibility of Bartolo.’’

I can see Colon moving on if he’s determined to remain a starter, but I like that the Mets recognized what the did last season and see that value.




Nov 10

Cashman Playing The Game; Murphy To Yanks Makes Sense

Despite a $15.8-million security blanked in the form of a qualifying offer, second baseman Daniel Murphy is not expected to re-sign with the Mets. He has until Friday to make his decision.

Speaking to reporters at the GM meetings in Florida, Mets assistant John Ricco said.: “In making the qualifying offer, you always have to anticipate he’s going to accept. Otherwise, I don’t think we would have done it. It’s very early in the signing season. I’m sure what he and his representatives are trying to do right now is trying to get a gauge.

MURPHY: More bad luck

MURPHY: Pinstripes make sense. (AP)

“It’s hard for me to speculate whether the market is going to be there. We made the offer with the idea that we’d like to have him back. We’ll see how it plays out.”

The reported current market for Murphy includes both Los Angeles teams, Houston, and of course the Yankees.

As Ricco said it is early in the process and nobody wants to tip their hand. That explains why Yankees GM Brian Cashman downplays interest in Murphy.

“We have to offensive-profile players already at that position,” Cashman said. “So, I think if we did any changing there it would be seeing more balance on both sides of the ball.”

The Yankees’ current second base candidates are Rob refsnyder and Dustin Ackley. They are projected to be offensive-oriented players, although neither is in Murphy’s class.

Murphy-to-the-Yankees makes sense, because in that bandbox of a stadium he could hit at least 25 homers. He could also get some designated-hitter at-bats, but most of them would go to Alex Rodriguez. And, as he would with the Mets, Murphy could also back up at first and third base.

Cashman has to feign interest because he knows every agent will parade his client through the Bronx to prime the bidding pump.

Nov 09

Mets Matters: Alderson To Miss GM Meetings For Medical Procedure

Mets GM Sandy Alderson will undergo a medical procedure this week and will not attend the general manager’s meetings in Florida. The club will be represented in Florida by assistant GMs John Ricco, J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta.

mets-matters logo“He had a medical procedure that was scheduled for after the season ended,’’ Ricco told reporters. “Because of the playoff run, it got pushed back, and kept getting pushed and pushed – obviously for good reason. And so he was going to have it done this week.’’

Ricco would not give specifics about the procedure or whether Alderson’s fainting spell last week was related.

“At some point we’ll have more to say. I don’t want to portray that there’s something extremely urgent about it,’’ Ricco said. “He feels comfortable we’re down here. We’re a pretty veteran group. We’re capable of handling it.’’

Even had Alderson been present the Mets weren’t expected to be anything in Boca Raton, Fla., as the GM Meetings are usually for exploratory purposes, with real activity occurring in early December at the Winter Meetings.

HALL OF FAME BALLOTS MAILED: Hall of Fame ballots were mailed Monday, with Mike Piazza a headliner.

A candidate must appear on 75 percent of the ballots. Piazza appeared on 69.9 percent last year. Every candidate who garnered 69 percent of the vote were eventually elected within two years.

Those players on the new ballot include: Garret Anderson, Brad Ausmus, Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Luis Castillo, Roger Clemens, David Eckstein, Jim Edmonds, Nomar Garciaparra, Troy Glaus, Ken Griffey, Mark Grudzielanek, Mike Hampton, Trevor Hoffman, Jason Kendall, Jeff Kent, Mike Lowell, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Mike Mussina, Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Lee Smith, Sammy Sosa, Mike Sweeney, Alan Trammell, Billy Wagner, Larry Walker and Randy Winn.

In addition to Piazza, those with Mets’ ties include: Castillo, Hampton, Kent, Sheffield and Wagner.

NO SURGERY FOR LAGARES: Ricco said center fielder Juan Lagares will not have to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Lagares’ throwing was definitely an issue last season, but instead of surgery he is expected to be put on a strengthening program.