Dec 11

Terry Collins Said David Wright Deals With Pressure

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – David Wright told me yesterday how much Curtis Granderson will mean to the New York Mets on the field and in the clubhouse.

One thing Wright will never admit is, as team captain, whether he ever felt he was drained by being “the man’’ and if Granderson would alleviate pressure. Doing so would admit feeling the pressure. That’s something he’s never done, and won’t ever. It isn’t in his professional DNA.

WRIGHT: Handles pressure.

WRIGHT: Handles pressure.

Manager Terry Collins can read a player by looking into his eyes and watching body language. He was asked if he ever sees a sign of mental fatigue from Wright.

“The answer is no, I don’t,’’ Collins said.  “David Wright is the consummate pro.  He knows exactly what’s expected, deals with it, and he deals with it with a smile.’’

There are times when he tries to carry the Mets on his shoulders. He’s done that for years, but team leaders always fall into that trap. That’s what team leaders do.

“Does he once in a while try to be the guy?  Yes,’’ Collins said.  “But he’s supposed to because he is the guy.  That’s why I think he’s a great player.’’

When the Mets need a key hit, Wright often delivers. He has a .375 average and 1.123 OPS when the Mets win and .243 average and .700 OPS when they lose. He hits .295 with men on base and .284 with runners in scoring position. His .407 on-base percentage with runners in scoring position is indicative of teams pitching around him.

Since Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado left, Wright has been the go-to guy for the Mets in critical situations. He’s always said he relishes those situations.

“You know, when the game is on the line, you look and guys are turning to David Wright to be the guy that comes through,’’ Collins said.  “I think he handles it great.’’

Granderson, despite his propensity for striking out, hit over 80 homers in 2011-2012. When he hit 41 homers in 2011, his home-road breakdown was 21-20, so he can hit outside of Yankee Stadium. Granderson is not an easy out, so pitchers might be less reluctant to pitch around Wright, at least in theory.

Your comments are greatly appreciated and I will attempt to respond. Follow me on Twitter @jdelcos

Dec 09

Mets Should Consider Trade For Brett Gardner

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The New York Mets rarely trade with the Yankees, but recent developments could make a trade conducive for a Daniel MurphyBrett Gardner trade.

Better still, it is a trade the Mets should make.

GARDNER: Would help Mets.

GARDNER: Would help Mets.

The possibility is ripe after the Mets signed Curtis Granderson and the Yankees landed Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, but general manager Sandy Alderson isn’t biting.

“Let’s not categorize players quite yet,’’ Alderson told reporters in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. “I mean, I know it looks like, ‘Well, OK, you’ve got this guy and that guy … ‘ But let’s see how it plays out, because I think that’s a little bit unfair to sort of predetermine.’’

The addition of Granderson completes the Mets’ outfield, with Juan Lagares in center and Chris Young in right. The Mets are kicking the tires of moving Eric Young to second base, thereby opening the door for dealing Murphy.

And, with Robinson Cano now in Seattle, the Yankees could use a second baseman, and Murphy’s home run numbers would increase in that ballpark.

The trade has been debunked in several corners, which is all the more reason why it should happen. Teams never disclose whom they are talking trade with, but the Mets have been known to listen to offers for Murphy, who’ll make $5 million to likely price himself off the Mets.

Regardless of how their outfield is currently constructed, remember the Mets could still have holes considering Chris Young is signed for one year.

Gardner and Eric Young would add speed at the top of the order, something the Mets haven’t had in a long time.

Gardner and Granderson would greatly upgrade the Mets’ outfield defense. Pitching and defense were supposed to be the Mets’ foundation when they moved into Citi Field, and Gardner could be a mainstay even after Granderson’s four-year contract expires.

I like Murphy, but if Eric Young is the answer at second base as the Mets might think, this trade is a definite upgrade.

Your comments are greatly appreciated and I will attempt to respond. Follow me on Twitter @jdelcos

 

Dec 04

Mets Make Three-Year Offer To Granderson

curtis-granderson_600

METS HAVE MADE A THREE-YEAR OFFER TO GRANDERSON

According to WFAN/CBS Sports baseball insider Jon Heyman, the Mets are believed to have offered free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson a three-year deal.

Heyman also reports that Granderson is looking for a five-year deal and that the 32-year-old outfielder is seeking $17 million per year.

It’s interesting watching how this is evolving.

About an hour ago I actually posted on Twitter than if I were Granderson’s agent, I’d probably advise him to wait until Carlos Beltran signs his deal and then demand a 4-5 year deal.

As was reported earlier, the Mets were only planning to offer three years.

That an offer was actually extended, indicates that talks may be settling down for now, while Granderson’s agents get back to some of the other teams that have reached out to him. This is what all agents do. They shop offers and try to get a better one.

No word yet if the Mets have asked for a right of first refusal, or even if three years was their final offer, but these things have a way of leaking out sooner rather than later.

Dec 03

Are The Mets And Curtis Granderson A Fit?

The New York Mets talked with outfielder Curtis Granderson. The meeting reportedly took place in San Diego. Although the Mets would not confirm a meeting, it was reported by several media outlets.

Granderson turned down a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Yankees, so that gives you an idea of where he’s coming from. He wants a pay-day. The Mets already signed free agent Chris Young to a one-year, $7.25 million contract, so if the Mets landed Granderson it would probably send Eric Young to the bench, re-opening the hole he filled last season.

GRANDERSON: On Mets' radar/

GRANDERSON: On Mets’ radar/

Granderson, 33 in March, would provide left-handed power, but is ranked behind Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Beltran and Nelson Cruz in the free-agent market, so getting him wouldn’t be as costly. Granderson reportedly wants four years, but the Mets could approach him with three plus an option. I don’t believe a flat three would get him to Flushing.

Because of injuries – a broken forearm in spring training and later a broken pinkie finger – Granderson is coming off a terrible season in which he played in just 61 games and hit .229 with seven homers and 15 RBI.

The Yankees wanted to bring back Granderson – hence the qualifying offer – but their pursuit of Beltran sings a different tune.

While Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he didn’t want an injury reclamation project, Granderson’s injuries were freakish in nature – hit by a pitch – and he will likely look at the 84 combined homers in 2011 and 2012.

That’s a lot of production, but Anderson must consider the Yankee Stadium bandbox and realize Granderson won’t hit like that in Citi Field. Alderson would have to take that approach with any power hitter on the market. Ellsbury is the line-drive, speed outfielder who would be perfect, but the Mets won’t give him the six years or $100-million-plus package he’s seeking.

So, if you’re a glass-half-empty kind of person, there’s the salary Granderson would want; his recent injury history and age; and the questionable nature of his numbers.

If you’re the glass-half-full kind, there’s the potential power he could provide; that he fills a need and despite his negatives is a step up.

There are players I’d rather the Mets get over Granderson, but they won’t pay that kind of money. Assuming $51 million over three years ($17 million a season), Granderson would be a relatively economical upgrade in the outfield.

He would fall under the category of being the best the Mets could get.

LATER TODAY:  What non-tendered players the Mets could bring back.

Nov 02

Mets Gambled And Lost On Johan Santana; End Era By Buying Out Contract

The New York Mets took care of business and officially parted ways with often-injured Johan Santana when they paid a $5.5-million buyout Friday, and the classy left-hander, who always wanted to do more – sometimes to his detriment – did the same and thanked the franchise and its fans for their support.

In a statement, Santana said: “I want to thank the Mets organization, my teammates, and, of course, a big thank you to Mets fans, who have been behind me from day one and stood by me through all the good and bad.’’

SANTANA: Era ends.

SANTANA: Era ends.

It was a noble gesture from Santana, something he didn’t have to do after completion of the six-year, $137.5-million contract that made him the highest-paid Mets’ pitcher.

The Mets have not ruled out bringing back Santana at a low-cost deal – which would be on top of the buyout – and toward that end, the left-hander lobbied on his behalf.

“I am not sure what the future holds, as this is all new to me,’’ Santana continued, “but I have every intention of pitching in 2014 and beyond and I am certainly keeping all my options open.’’

After losing in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS and kicking away a seven-game lead with 17 games remaining in 2007, and in dire need of pitching, the Mets gambled big on Santana. They sent four prospects to Minnesota – one of them turning out to be All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez – to acquire the already damaged left-hander. Then they signed him at the time to the richest contract in franchise history.

Santana became available because both the Yankees and Red Sox backed off, so in essence the Mets were bidding against themselves, and arguably could have had him for less. Subsequently, they issued a contract they didn’t have to at that price. Clearly, they mis-read the market. The deal turned out to symbolize then-GM Omar Minaya’s tenure that included a run of lucrative, underachieving contracts.

Outside a 15-7 record with a league-leading 2.53 ERA in 34 starts in 2008, his first season with the Mets, Santana never completed a full year in New York and didn’t pitch at all in 2011 and 2013 because of shoulder injuries. If a full season is considered 34 starts, Santana left 95 starts on the table. That is more glaring than his production of 46-34, a 3.18 ERA and the only no-hitter in franchise history.

That no-hitter came in just his 12th start after rehabbing from shoulder surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule. To this day, manager Terry Collins laments letting him throw 134 pitches.

Ironically, it was a tainted no-hitter because a blown call on what should have been an extra-base hit for Carlos Beltran was ruled a foul ball. If that call is made correctly, then Santana doesn’t throw that many pitches, then, who really knows?

Santana made only 10 more starts for the Mets before he was shut down in August of 2012. In spring training of 2013, in an angered response to GM Sandy Alderson’s comments he didn’t report in shape, Santana went against his prescribed rehab routine and without Collins’ knowledge, threw off the mound and aggravated the injury.

In another dose of irony, the pitcher often fueled by pride was done in by the same. Santana re-tore the capsule and underwent a second surgery.

To this day, Santana never acknowledged his mistake of throwing off the mound, and Anderson never admitted whether his dig at the left-hander’s condition was meant as motivation and backfired.

Either way, at least publicly, both sides are open for a return. But, don’t bet on it.